The Perfect Gift

A very happy holiday wish from me to you, where ever you are I hope the season is full of family, friends, fun, laughter and love.

As we come into this time of year, and the sale signs go up, the Black Fridays and Cyber Monday go crazy, the extended mall hours begin (inside I shudder a little at the memories of working in retail at that time of year), the parking spot stalking and the stress of buying everyone everything they asked for….I can’t help but think is this really how I want to remember the holidays? Is that how you want to remember them? Have we lost sight of what any holiday is really about?

A few years ago my family decided instead of buying gifts, we took time instead and made gifts. Now, we have a broad level of creative flare between us but we ended up with some amazing home-made gifts. From family photos (shocker from me), knitted scarves, Pinterest crafted ideas, paintings, baking and the best ones - Time and memories. That was one of the best Christmas mornings I can remember, we all put thought and time into our home-made gifts and they are still used today.

Why not this year, instead of buying the biggest bestest badass-est thing from a store who’s only concern is the profit margin over the holiday season, go out to one of the many craft markets happening this season? Get something for your loved ones made or produced by someone who has a genuine passion for what they are ‘selling’? Buy from the local artist, hire the photographer to take family pictures, capture those memories and share that ‘purchase’ with your loved ones. Buy the one of a kind hand thrown mug from the pottery group, the delicious dip mixes and hot chocolate mixes from the family who travel all over to share their unique recipes (seriously the Garlic dip mixes… *insert Homer drooling here*), the 100% pure honey in original hand thrown jars. For all of my fellow photogeeks out there, one of the best things I got this year was a handmade camera strap from Envy. Yes it’s an item, but the friend who got it for me knew how much it would mean, found a local crafter/artist/sewing wonder who has a passion for what she is making, put a lot of thought into it and bought locally a kick ass handmade gift. It didn’t come out of a box, didn’t come out of a mad mall rush frenzy and wasn’t just from a list I had given to her. Where’s the surprise in just telling people what to get you? There’s no fun in that…..

There are so many ways to celebrate the holiday season, and each has their own traditions and fun times. But don’t stress about making it to the store, don’t fuss over having 37 gifts this year instead of 39 (bonus points if you get the reference), don’t focus on what you got or didn’t get. Don’t make a list this year, don’t ask for more ‘stuff’ you really don’t need, don’t spend more time at the mall than making sugar cookies with your kids, your friends, your family. Maybe spend time spreading joy and happiness instead of buying it from a box store.

This year try the homemade gifts, the no-list Christmas shopping, the craft markets, the farmers markets, the local stores, the local artists. Spend time, not money. Try it, just once, you may be surprised with how the holidays turn out.


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