#1 Rich and I decided that we would make our Christmas gifts this year which we are
#2 I hate toy stores, especially at Christmas. They beat the joy right out of gift-giving.
The Advent Conspiracy asks people to shop less and give people something more precious - your time, your attention, your love. Give presence, not presents. I love that idea, but it goes against the West's culture of gift giving - of black Friday and 'finding the best deals', of waking up at four in the morning and standing in line in the cold to get the "perfect" gift. It's easy to poo poo the West for being so materialistic, but at the same time I think that the sentiment is in the right place, even if it is misdirected a little.
Herein lies the dilemma. Giving, something that should be lovely and selfless, becomes stressful and problematic. And that's mostly why we decided to only give handmade gifts this year - to combine the present and the presence. The toy store was out of the item we wanted to buy for Jack. Was it a sign? Maybe. Who's to say what Jack will find under the tree this holiday.
As for the rest of our family, hopefully everyone will love their handmade gifts:
Love, Ginger and Rich
This post was inspired by the Loose Bloggers Consortium, a small and feisty(!) global community. We write weekly on a common topic and post responses - all of us together at the same time, even though we are continents apart. (Lovely!) Introducing Anu, Ashok, Conrad, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Judy, Magpie 11, Maria and Ramana.