Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Christmas = Commercialism??

2010 is the year that we Robisons give commercialism the boot and attempt to bring back a little wholesome heartfelt gift giving, coupled with joy and laughter and hopefully a heaping glass of spiked egg nog. On our trip to Ireland this year, our family of five started talking about the cost of the trip and also the fact that we aren't kids anymore (my sisters and I are 22, 26 and 28). Why do we need to go all out in the gift-giving arena? Wasn't spending two weeks together this summer gift enough? And if we are going to put something under the Christmas tree, shouldn't it be something we've thought about, shaped, created and loved into the perfect gift for the recipient? Because of these "Ireland chats," we decided that - at least for the five of us - we would forgo the malls, the department stores, the traffic and the last-minute rush, and craft some gifts from scratch.

Please don't think that we came to this idea because we craft in our free time already and it would be a natural extension of our lives. I wouldn't say we're overly creative (though my Mom is an expert sewer/quilter and my sister Laura is quite the artist), and in fact the idea of making four completely suitable gifts by hand before December 25th has me slightly panicky. Hence the trip to Hobby Lobby yesterday to gather supplies for the upcoming craft fest that will be my life. Our "rules" are so loose that I wouldn't call them rules at all. The craft could be a piece of art, but could also be something yummy and homemade, a picture from our recent vacation inside a crafted frame, or anything else that requires a little hands-on action. And once I started looking for ideas online, I realized that there are amazing resources out there for people who want to create something beautiful and unique but that doesn't require a high level of difficulty. If you would like to make some homemade gifts for the holidays or the anydays, here are some of my favorite sites:

Young House Love
whip up
noodlehead (especially great for gifts for kids)
How About Orange
tatertots & jello
The Polka Dot Chair
paper n stitch
one pretty thing

Going the homemade route not for you? Not enough time? I would encourage you to at least consider purchasing gifts that were homemade by someone else. Etsy has some really unique stuff, and just check these out!!!

A Collage A Day
clutch from Etsy
And of course you could always spring for these (and give to a good cause to boot - pun intended) <-- Oh wait, was that just a shameless plug for the shoes that I've been dreaming of? woops!

Ok y'all, I hope that gives you some ideas for crafts to make or crafts to buy. Also, since my family is 95% of my readership (yeah, I admit it), I won't be posting the play-by-play for each of the crafts that I take on. I'll be sure to take lots of pics and post these ideas after the holidays, but I guess that doesn't exactly help you now.

Also, because making your own homemade gifts takes time and requires you to start well in advance, I felt completely justified in having a Christmas post in October. But as you learned yesterday, I'm not usually down with celebrating a holiday until the previous one is over, and there won't even be mild holiday chatter on this blog until the appropriate time.

Hope you are enjoying this beautiful crisp weather. Spiced apple cider, pumpkin bread, and falling leaves make me sooo happy! What are your favorite ways to celebrate fall?

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