This Christmas, I really want to focus on everything BUT gift giving. I really hate that part of Christmas honestly. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing my kids smile and all the excitement of Christmas morning. But I hate the shopping. I hate the spending. I hate the pressure on getting "the perfect gift". The whole commercial aspect of Christmas gives me the hives.
We've told our kids that Christmas gift giving is about celebrating the birth of Jesus where we all get to celebrate in that special day and exchange birthday gifts. They get it.
But I really hate the race to get everything in order. Do I sound like a total bah-hum-bug?
I love going to holiday craft shows. I love going to our little towns holiday festival and parade and watching Santa ride in on the fire truck. I love going on a drive through the neighborhoods and looking at the lights. I love sharing a meal with friends and co-workers and giving thanks for our blessings. I love fires in the fireplace and our tradition of cooking s'mores on Christmas eve while watching Polar Express.
It's all great stuff. I just hate the spending part. I hate the pressure of feeling like I have to spend this wad of change at this time of year. I'm just not going to do it.
And I don't know about you but, this economy has me worried. I have watched the cost of food go up a lot this last year. Have you noticed? Like a block of cream cheese last year was $1.19. Now, it's over $2.00. It's like that across the board. I'm just afraid to spend money because I don't know what is going to happen next.
Currently, my big girls are cleaning out under their beds. Old toys they have outgrown they are stashing away in a bin I gave them for storage. From that, I told them to find something special they would like to give to their baby sister. That way, she gets a surprise - something brand new to her that she has never seen or played with. The big girls get the joy in sharing something that had been theirs and letting their sister love it. It's green, recycling at its best and easy on the wallet.
Bah-hum-bug? I don't think so.
It isn't about how much you spend but the thought behind the gift. Which got me thinking...about this handmade community. How cool would it be to barter for gifts - it's a great way to save money. For instance, if you have a service or an item you've made - to offer it up and make an exchange with someone else for an item. I love to barter.
It could be ad space on your blog, it could be design services, it could be handmade items...what are your thoughts? If enough people are interested - I think we could pull this off!
I've opened up a Flickr page where you can post items for trade. Post your contact info and let the trading begin! I'll leave this open just for 2 weeks, through November 21st. Hopefully, in that time, you'll find at least a few items that will ease up your holiday list.
I've posted ad space on my blog - view my listing to see how it works. I've posted my contact info, exactly what the item is and its value.
Spread the word, share this on your blogs, facebook, etc with your crafty friends. The more that participate, the more fun it will be. Grab the button - link to the Flickr page and happy trading! (and saving!)