Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Our Holiday Giving

There is a lot of chatter out there in the green interweb about gifting. Where to buy? What to buy? If to buy? There are so many opinions and perspectives out there to consider...and as this is my blog...let me give you a few more. Here is my take on our family holiday gifting.
  • Probably our most controversial gift policy by far is our policy for the kids. We only get the kids 3(ish) things. 1. Is a fun gift of their choice. I try to get this fair trade/recycled/handmade if possible. 2. Is an educational gift-sometimes of their choice. Same story here. 3. A gift to a charity or gift of volunteering-eventually of their choice as they get old enough. Our thinking here is that our kids will get plenty of gifts and will inevitably have the most fun with the box. We feel the gift of sustainable thinking every year is one in and of itself.
  • On the topic of regifting: I do it. I think it's a good idea if it is done with thoughtfulness. So if you are on my gift list, you may be regifted. But please know I do it with the very best intentions for you and the planet. If I can't regift it and I won't use it/love it-it gets consigned to someone who will. No offense.
  • We have taken to giving all our extended family, photographs for Christmas. The year we started, we gave a nice frame with them and each year we refill the frame. This allows us to keep to a budget and be environmentally conscious at the same time we bring joy (hopefully) to our family.
  • If you read regularly, you know that I don't like to buy new, but I realize sometimes it's the "best" option. When I have to do it, I try to do good with it. I buy local, handmade, organic, recycled, or from someone like Ethical Superstore, or through something like igive which allows you to make a donation with each purchase.
  • This is the first year we have done an advent calendar and the boys LOVE it! I really adore the idea of advent calendar but hate the idea of purchasing nick nacks for each day. So I was thrilled when a friend gave me the idea to put a fun family activity in each day. So far we have had hot cocoa with peppermint stirrers, gone Christmas light spotting, send holiday cards to our friends, watched a Christmas movie, gone to a holiday parade, etc...Not only are we not buying more stuff, we are creating quality time and memories with our family.
I would love to hear from you on some of your creative holiday ideas that are great for your family and the Earth! What are you doing to have true spirit this holiday?


Amy said...

OMG. I can't believe you "regift". Or maybe I just can't believe you ADMIT it! We did that too until we FINALLY convinced everyone to STOP BUYING US STUFF. The day after Christmas, for us, involved taking a car-load of unwanted brand new CRAP to Goodwill.

We don't buy for anyone but our parents (and our kids, of course) and that's usually something small unless we know they're in need to something that we are able to provide.

I buy lots of stuff for my kids for Christmas, but only one or two new items. Everything else has been broken in (garage sales, resale shops, consignment stores, and toy swaps)

Lucy Pursglove-Jones said...

Hey Willo! I hope you and yours are well and looking forward to Christmas.
Great post! I love a 'handmade' Christmas myself. It's much more traditional. I also cannot stand the big shops at this time of year; all the lights, cram of people and too much stuff! I come out feeling dizzy.

Lori said...

I want to get into the 3 gift mode for our kids, but my husband stands in the way of that. Maybe I'll make him read this post...

My friend has an advent calendar for her kids where each day has an ornament and they hook on to the tree at the top of the calendar itself. It's homemade and had been around for thirty years. I'm going to try to recreate it next year.

Willo said...

Thanks for the lovely comments!

Amy-I am glad you were able to convince them not to buy for you anymore-and it's great that you get things second hand-the kids don't know the difference, or care!

Lucy-I totally forgot handmade! Might be because I am not crafty-but if you can do it, more power to you!

Lori-I hope the post can help! Sometimes I think we do things for us at the holidays, not so much for others, and that is what results in some of the over-consumption.

Aunt Spicy said...

Love the list of things you did on the advent calendar! I told my nieces and nephews that all I want are paintings from them!