Saturday, December 26, 2009

Post Christmas Review

This year is the third one that we didn't give any gifts that required wrapping. For this Christmas we had twenty redwood trees planted in different family members' names and gave our immediate group a trip to Carmel with several nights of sitting by a fire and eating homemade dinners. One night we invited neighbors and some people we'd only just met for an evening of food and conversation. 

When I talked to friends many said they hadn't given or received the traditional gloves, ties, shirts either. Many baked special cookies and cakes, and what a treat those were over the holiday. One told me that somebody had given her a sewing machine. My mouth gaped because this is a person who has never even sewn on a button. She smiled and explained. The machine when to an Afghan woman in her name. Ahh!

So I wondered if this could be a trend due to some increasing awareness about the perils of consummerisim? Is it due to knowing more about and caring more about the struggle of people in war-torn countries? Is the cultural tradition of gift giving returning to the original spirit that inspired it? Or is this a fad that will go away once our economy stabilizes and the war is no longer the top story? And what gifting did you and your family and friends do this year? Maybe you have a tradition that doesn't involve credit card debt. Just curious. Just wondering about the world outside my own small circle.

Happy New Year.


  1. What a lovely idea :)

    I think kids are much more aware these day of the needs and suffering of others. It may be because of the internet, how quickly kids are exposed to more adult ideas, or the increased environmental awareness recently, but I find kids are more than willing to give to others who need. It's quite heart lifting :)

  2. I would certainly like to think that gifting is becoming less commercial, but I am (in some ways) such a pessimist...I don't think so. Hubby and I drove around a bit on the 26th, the amount of garbage produced, so much of it recyclable, was disheartening. Bags and bags of trash at the ends of driveways.

  3. We definitely spent less this year, and gave things of the more practical nature (and books of course).
    With three young children, our lives are still filled with consumerism and toys and games! :)
    Love your tree and trip idea!!

  4. Sounds like a lovely way to celebrate. Redwoods 1. Wrapping 0.
    I've started giving books, magazines or bookstore gift cards. I try to promote reading.

  5. DH and I had a fairly traditional gift-giving day and it occurred to me as I was opening a present that I want to do it differently next year. We have enough "stuff." Hooray that you've taken the step toward less consumerism!

  6. Love the redwood idea and the sewing machine too. Sounds like it was a great holiday!


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