Last Christmas, we decided to Do-Christmas-Differently... and the first rule was that the adults weren’t going to waste money buying all of the other adults Christmas presents.
I don’t know about you – but there have been very few Christmas presents (that I have received in my adult years) that I have either wanted… liked… or needed. So – to save ourselves space, free ourselves from extra unwanted / unneeded household clutter, and save our relatives some money – we made a rule: no presents for the grown-ups! Besides, the “gift” for us was the time spent with our loved ones… the experience of eating, laughing and enjoying the day together… that was “present” enough.
The kids, however, are a different story. I have wonderful childhood memories of Christmas – and all the excitement that surrounded the festive season. I want my kids to have lovely, exciting memories of Christmas too! So – presents were definitely “allowed” (for the kids)… BUT… I really wanted everyone to re-imagine the kinds of presents that they might choose for our children.
Christmas is a time where obscene amounts of money is spent at shopping malls… where well-meaning people buy huge amounts of cheap, plastic, made-in-China crap for their children. Most of this stuff breaks and ends up on a landfill, just a few months later.
Now, I am all for treating the children… and buying them fun toys… but I’d much prefer them to receive toys that are well-made, locally-made (if possible)… and that encourage healthy, imaginative play (more on that topic later).
Even better, of course, would be hand-made prezzies… although I doubted anyone had the time (or the inclination) to do this. Well… can I just say that my mother and my sister took up the challenge – and created the most AMAZING gifts for my kids! Hand-made! Recyled! And best of all – loads of fun! Nobody spent a cent on these presents – but they have given my children hours of playtime joy! Even now… 4 months down the line, the re-cycled prezzies are holding up just fine – and are still regularly used by Beetle, Bear and their friends.
Here’s some pics…