Monday, November 8, 2010

Celebrations and Homemade Gifts

This time of year ALWAYS seems to set a fire under my bum. You know I really wanted to say ass, since I am pretty sure I know everyone in real life whom reads this! But, if I am not kidding myself that there is indeed a somebody whom I do not know in real life I apologize for using profanities. I really love using them and sometimes you just have to pop one in for the full effect of what one is trying to get across. Ok, back to "this time of year"!
Beginning in August our lives are full of celebrations until mid-January. Seriously, our whole family has birthdays including extended family and friends during this time. I think it is around 6 or 8 family and friends who celebrate birthdays in June and July! Totally crazy times for us accompanied by the Holidays.
Holidays are not what they were for me as a kid. I am so OVER the consumer Holidays that I almost do not want to celebrate them at all. I know you know what I am talking about. What the hell is Christmas doing in October??? BUY, BUY, BUY!!! It is all about obese spending and buying.
I would like to celebrate Holidays in the true meaning of it's celebration. And, let me tell you folks, I may even celebrate every named Holiday if I could pull that off and stay in line with our families values and morals. I guess I better get a few history lessons in before next year.
As our family has grown we have become more and more aware of what our priorities are and where we really need to buckle and down and not waiver. Our personal values and morals is just the place we started. Some of this was brought on by unforeseen circumstances and the rest just sorta followed suit. At, this point we do not want to instill consumerism into our family.
To begin the end to the vicious cycle we began with making a few homemade gifts. Of course like most things in my life I had a rather lofty goal to make everything homemade for a few years before I realized: 1- that is just impossible. (Too bad I am not superwoman) and 2- I mine as well be buying gifts if I am going to mass produce thoughtless, I have to gifts.
The next step in this very slow process that I have not yet perfected was to slim our Holiday gift giving list way down, which had already been slimmed for a few years past. It is so slim that I think I can count everyone on my own two hands and feet at this time. When it comes to birthdays we generally do one gift from our whole family. I had to let go my ego that I have four kids and the hosts are including all of them. My polite apologies at this time if you are one of the families that has fell prey to our gift giving ideals.
That being said, I try to make make all of our gifts at home. I would LOVE for my children to be way into it every step of the way, and sometimes this happens and sometimes it does not. The best effort I have had so far with including my kids in the gift giving process is to include them in the plans . I usually let the kiddo closest to the age of the recipient do most of the choosing and if it is an adult it is just kinda a free for all.
There are plenty of times when we have not prioritized making a gift in a timely manner, so YES we high tail it on the way to a celebration into some big box store and buy a gift within our price range that we have set before hand.
Because I am me, and not Superwoman, I have to work pretty hard on scheduling times to fit everything into a day I would like to accomplish. Some days it all gets done and I go to bed with a huge smile plastered on my face. The days that I do not get it all done, I put at the top of tomorrows check list and rest easy. To do lists are my savior. I use them to help me prioritize my days and things I hope to get done.
For the first time during these crazy few months to ensure we make most if not all of our gifts homemade I have been making my "Gift To Do List" according to the next celebration we are looking forward to. This way I can focus on that gift and not worry about the future gifts. It allows me to stay focused and enjoy the process. I want to enjoy our celebrating and not dread the day to come as I "have " to finish up a gift. What kind of joy is there in something you "have' to do. A homemade gift is only a homemade gift if it comes from your heart. I do not know about you, but I do know that it is so very important to me that the gifts our family gives come from a happy place not a dreaded place.
Mid-November and my "To Do Lists" are working out perfectly!!! I know myself all too well, so I did give myself bumpers (or extra days) just in case they were needed. Life with a family of 6 needs much lee way as you never know what each day might entail. Also in line with our ideals is not prioritizing gift making/ giving over the current needs of our family. If it means putting our current needs on the back burner or ignoring a cranky kiddie whom needs a bit of snuggle time, in the end it is just not worth it for us. I would rather postpone finishing the gift and make that infamous stop on the way to celebrate.
Ideals are just that ideals! We can only strive to meet them and sometimes we need to do a little adjusting to find the spot that is a better fit.
Looking forward to many more celebrations in the next couple months :)

1 comment:

Noahm said...

Lucky are both those that hold a place on your gift-numbered fingers and toes, and those that are privileged to know you. ♥