Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Christmas in July


Since most of the family was together last night, gobbling up pizza over at Mom & Dad's, I took the opportunity to present an idea: How about a frugal, earth-friendly Yule this year? I got their immediate attention so went forth with my suggestions: A $20.00 limit to spend on each person, and the gift must be either handmade by the giver or used/recycled. As all of my children are earth-friendly and avid thrift store shoppers, their little eyes lit up! Really? Yes, I said. It is absolutely ridiculous that we spent thousands of dollars last year to give each other things that we either didn't need or we could buy ourselves! It's just an excuse to have something wrapped under the tree, half the time Beren and I are working off a specific list presented to us by our children, scrambling around trying to find the exact item requested. How silly is that? The girls aren't babies anymore, no need for the must-have toy of the moment! Our youngest is 13, certainly old enough to understand the environmental impact of consumerism on the earth, and our wallets!

I told my parents that they could opt out of this agreement if they'd like, but we would really enjoy having them participate. As I told Mom, I'd much rather have something handmade by her any day.

So, we'll see how this goes, we have 5 months to get our creative juices flowing and come up with the perfect non-commercial gifts for each other! I'd love to hear thoughts & suggestions from you all!

21 comments:

Lady Laurie said...

Lovely idea! Last year we decided to stick with one gift per child which worked out really well as they received the one thing they really wanted!
Our kids will be 21, 19 and 17 come Christmas and we see no need to shower them with gifts. The holidays are about family anyway!!
By the way I sent you an invite to my private blog ~ Briar Rose. In case you were wondering who the heck it was from...

Rapunzel said...

Lady Laurie, I completely agree! I read a book years ago called Unplug the Christmas Machine, am going to dig that out and re-read as it really made an impression on me.

Heather @ SGF said...

Sounds great! We struggle with insisting on no gifts each year and each year we lose. We give money to nieces and nephews (in homemade cards). And the only other gifts we give are to our parents - they get homemade or local gifts like nuts, jam, honey, etc. Between the two of us we have 8 siblings and I'm just not shopping for everyone. Not going to happen. The moola for the kids and the local/homemade basket for parents works just great. Now, if we could just convince them not to buy us stuff...

Rapunzel said...

Heather, sounds like a great plan! Beren's family isn't a problem since they are..uh...mostly estranged, but my parents are always much too generous. My bio dad and stepmom, however, "canceled" Christmas last year because they were going on a huge trip - said no gifts either way so we happily complied. Didn't bother us a bit! :-) The holidays are so much more than gifts, truly.

The Vintage Housewife... said...

oooh honey i love it...isnt that what christmas is about the thought!! girl a vintage gal christmas...wowoo hoooo...oooh i love that you crochet...oooh i wish i could...i love scarfs...maybe those for gifts...

also for the girls...maybe vintage aprons all around...what gal doesn't love vintage aprons...cat

Julie said...

I would love that ...but then again, I would put my heart and soul into it. Most in my family would not. What I enjoy most about the holiday season is the fun things you can do at home with your family..like decorating and baking. That is why I start shopping now.

linda said...

I have done this in the past and felt it was almost as hard as buying things BUT that was when my list was longer(I think)...I think this is a fabulous idea and am going to talk to DH(dear husband) about it, although he'll love the idea :)

I am thinking of making cookbooks of all my recipes for my sons' and their wives but am drawing a blank on the gkids right now...any ideas?

Teacats said...

Excellent idea -- we simply send along a holiday floral arrangement to each of our mums early in December -- and they LOVE those for holiday entertaining! Then we simply send checks for the nieces and nephews (and grand-nieces) -- and thats it! I do send Christmas cards ...... we are the only ones in the family that live "away from home" so mailing items is super-expensive. And the checks are always welcome! LOL!

Jan at Rosemary Cottage

miss*R said...

ms*Rapunzel, I don't how you found my blog but I am sure glad you did.. it seems we have alot in common going on your profile...
Christmas in summer is something I have every single year... year in, year out.. I hate it.. so in July, I have a true Christmas, although I like to call it Winter Solstice.. and we have dinner with all the trimmings.. we each spend $5 on one gift and the gift must be from Vinnies (op shop).. this Christmas in December, we have decided there are no presents except for the children (the little ones, I mean... cause most of us are children :) )
I too, look forward to reading more of your blog! Funny how blogging works, bringing like minded people together.. the Universe at work!! blessings to you!

kim said...

I so want to do something like this. I have so many appliances and stuff that I am being crowded out! What I wouldn't give for a subscription to a CSA or a lovely handmade afghan.

Or even a donation to a good cause!

Rapunzel said...

missR, we do indeed have a lot in common! And since I live in the tropics, I can relate to your warm solstice. I, too, celebrate the winter solstice (Yule) as well as the secular Christmas. I probably posted about it back then if you have time to take a peek. WE do the Yule log as well as other rituals. :-)

Thank you for stopping by the Castle; I look forward to many more visits!

Rapunzel said...

Cat, yes to the vintage aprons! I am thinking I could buy some pillowcases and embroider on them as well, have all of the supplies here in my neglected needlework basket!

xoxoxo

Rapunzel said...

Julie, I enjoy the decorating and baking the most, too, but I have neglected those parts over the years because I'm too busy shopping! Not this year, no way. The focus has to change, you know? xoxoxo

Rapunzel said...

Linda, I loooove the cookbook idea! I have thought of that as well, maybe it's what I'll give Kali along with a vintage apron! I have many of my mothers recipes, might be very good timing to share those with her.

As far as your grandchildren, how old are they? We can brainstorm!

Rapunzel said...

Jan, I send cards, too, though many of my friends have stopped over the years. I just love going to my mailbox and finding a bit of holiday cheer tucked among the bills..groan..

xoxoxo

Rapunzel said...

Kim, exactly! For several years now Kali and Kevin have "adopted" a wolf through the WWF in my name, I love it! I always get a little trinket as a result - a calendar, stuffed toy, etc.

miss*R said...

just thought I would let you know, I have visited again and have been reading and it is scary.. well not your blog but how alike we are.. seems the Universe leads us to each other through blogging.

silverneurotic said...

Oh, I like the idea a lot. Good luck with it!

Melissa said...

love it love it! and it's amazing how much more thought has to go into doing it this way (which is why it's wonderful, and why it's good you presented the idea now!)

Rapunzel said...

Thank you, Silver! We have already started shopping. :-)

Rapunzel said...

Melissa, exactly! Shopping is going to be so much more fun. :-)