Please don’t throw things at me whether hard objects or just nasty looks, but — what are you doing for Christmas this year? I know, I know, we haven’t even figured out exactly what we’re going to be for Halloween yet. And, I know I’m usually the biggest challenger of the “changing-of-the-store-décor” nonsense. However, this is a good time to think about it.
I mean, how many of you are the type that buys stuff all year long to give? Okay, so I’ll not have any push room with you as the deed is already done. (Yes, even I picked up an adorable handmade-by-Amish apron with pocket dolls for my great-niece while in Pennsylvania this summer.) (There is something about that right there, by golly, that feeds into my train of thought today — handmade.)
Granted, my kids are older, but they certainly passed through that “gotta have it” stage which we only faintly played into. Nowadays if we fed that sweet tooth it would cost us thousands of dollars for the level of desirables they possess. It is, admittedly, now easier to say “no” and to give alternative expressions of love and appreciation.
I’m thinking, if you aren’t the “make-it-yourself” variety, at least buy handmade by someone local. (Have you heard? It’s not “crafting” anymore, due to the fact that instead of metal artistry or clay work, etc., everyone thinks of crocheted potholders and oddly quilted plastic bag holders — Gee, don’t need those any more!) If that still doesn’t float your boat, how about at least investing in fair-trade items. There’s a store in San Luis Obispo called HumanKind on Monterey that deals solely in it. Look for the “Fair Trade” label wherever you shop, including for edibles!
The Cambria Grammar School is having a fundraiser — all kinds of kitchen gadgets, wrapping paper AND sweet edibles. If you must have something tangible to give someone, make it count more by buying something that will financially benefit our local schools.
Let your child pick a reputable charity or cause of their choice to give at least a portion of what they may receive in gifts to. For someone with everything, this is wonderful. A charity like Heifer International helps families internationally as well as nationally by using your donated dollars to educate folks and procure flocks or single animals they can raise for food and profit, giving them a life-giving skill.
Newlyweds? First apartment? “Green” cleaning supplies are novel — vinegar, baking soda, lemons, scrub brushes and rags in a good bucket, to start.
How about gift certificates to a thrift store? I’m pretty sure these shops will do that. Love Me Two Times here in town gives a portion of their proceeds to the Homeless Animal Rescue Team (HART), the animal rescue service for Cambria. Any other thrift shop will do, as well. You’re welcome to give me one (kidding; sort of).
One of my favorite things my young son did for me was make a “coupon book” of things he’d do for me. Rub my neck for five minutes (big deal for him!), make dinner, do MY laundry instead of just his own, stuff like that. Rub my feet! Pull weeds! Write me a love poem.
There ya go — something to maybe help save on planetary resources as well as your pocketbook.
Dianne Brookes column is special to The Cambrian. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her web site at www.ladytiedi.com.