Changing habits and challenging established expectations is stressful stuff, but this is my year.

All the wrapping will be recycled or reusable, and all of my gifts will be local or handmade by small shops via Etsy. I will not purchase one gift from a big store. This year and every year after, I am doing things differently.

I have three children ranging in age from twenty-three to sixteen. Which is great because if I’d had this awakening earlier in their lives, I’d have been pulling my hair out in search of handcrafted Legos.

Since I do not accept Christmas wish lists as of a few years ago, hints are occasionally dropped. There have been whispers about electronics, Abercrombie, Nike, boots, and Urban Outfitters.

That stuff will have to be purchased on their own, or wait for another time because I am the giver and I can choose how I want to give.

That’s my new revelation this year.

I have been going along all these years thinking I needed to get what people wanted but now I realize gifts are often things no one even knows they need.

A holiday isn’t a trip to the grocery store, or Walgreens to pick up toothpaste. Christmas is lights speckled in a dark sky, a fireplace and some extra time.

I want to give presents that are equal to the feelings. Cozy and wonderful treats wrapped late into the night and placed under a tree draped in years of handprints and stinky pirates.

I’m sure some of this has to do with the time in my life, but I no longer need a mountain of anything.

No matter the pressure, the advertising, or the innate desire to satisfy the popular whispers, I will do things differently.

It might be strange at first, or maybe I will be pleasantly surprised by the reactions, but either way in a couple of years the people I love will begin to expect different from me.

For years I have ordered online, paid for last minute shipping and stacked the coveted stuff around the tree. Those Christmases were filled with wide eyes and wonderful memories. I am not knocking them, or the way I purchased gifts in the past. That was what worked for me then, but I have changed.

I want to give better.

It will be more work and take some planning because things that are made by hand take time and local shops close early. Everything may not go exactly according to plan this year, but it’s my first time. Practice will smooth out the bumps.

I will do my best to find wood whittlers, leather tanners, knitters, pillow makers, potters and artisans.

I like small. I love handmade. It’s time I put my money where my heart is.

My thoughts from the laundry room. Winding Down.



balance choices Christmas family holidays learning love shopping thoughts

7 Comments Leave a comment

  1. This is wonderful! I’m not sure I have the courage to do this yet, but I feel very much the same about the whole giving and receiving thing. You are a modern trailblazer! Wishing you all the best this holiday!

  2. I’ve not really entered a store at the holidays for five-plus years now. Unless it’s a small, local shop. And my holidays have been so much richer for it. Black Friday is a mystery to me, as I see it as one level of Dante’s Inferno. I love that you’re taking the frenzy down a notch and bringing some sanity back to the process.

  3. WHO needs more of anything? I have four siblings–all over the hill. We exchange wish lists to help those who have picked our name with her shopping (we’re all females). What do I need? Nothing. What do I want? Nothing? What do I like? Well, he’s too young for me and money doesn’t buy that kind of happiness? Sigh.
    I want to stop being forced into making a wish list. o_O

  4. Good for you Tracey! I did this last year and it was a challenging but fun time as the people I care about were thrilled–the Spirit of Christmas definitely lives on! And the Artisans truly appreciated that we searched for them. . . . 🙂

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