|Seen on a church notice board in Exeter!|
Christmas is supposed to be the celebration of the birth of Christ over 2,000 years ago but it seems to have become something else altogether these days - take gifts and giving for example. This time of year the magazines, catalogues and shops are full of present ideas many total tat or if not then costing what to me seem vast sums of money. Giving doesn't have to involve getting into debt in an attempt to give expensive presents if you can't afford it surely?
Now it's lovely to give and Scrooge though I may sometimes seem to be I like to give as much as the next man (or woman) but just not to friends and family and especially not at Christmas when the shops are heaving! I have spent too much time over the years getting stressed whilst searching for gifts my friends might like, that I can afford and that can be posted without needing a mortgage to pay for the stamps and by the time you get to our age there is nothing that I could buy which they couldn't buy themselves if they wanted it. As there are no children to buy for I decided back in 2010 that I would not buy anything but instead give the money I might have spent on gifts to my favourite charity Centrepoint and that way somebody might actually get something they really want, like a roof over their heads!! Some of you may remember my blog post about this here. I sometimes add a little hand made tree decoration or something to my friends' cards as a little token gift but there is no stress involved and they are also relieved of trying to find something for me too. It works! This might not work for you but it is my take on Christmas giving. Gifts don't always have to cost money anyway and what mother of young children wouldn't gladly pass on the cashmere sweater for a couple of hours baby-sitting or what elderly person at home alone wouldn't prefer the promise of a regular visit instead of some expensive gift? No shopping involved just a note in their card and a promise kept - simple eh?
This little tale might make you smile if not laugh out loud at me! The above are some little gifts I made to give to a group of friends at a recent get together. You may remember last year I showed you here how to make a pretty gift package - pity I didn't keep the measurements before I regifted the packages as when I came to make some this year from memory I found mine weren't large enough. I had carefully used some green card I already had and stuck gold stars onto them before searching for some small chocolates to put inside. I got some funny looks in our local shop when checking out sweets which might fit!! Anyway as they would only hold one chocolate each and not the 3 or 4 I envisaged I decided to make some larger ones this time using old manilla files for the card and going for a rustic look. I thought that potato cut Christmas trees printed on the card might be a better decoration than gold stars and more in keeping with the simple look (shame they look rather like the symbols on prison garments isn't it?) but when I checked out my potato supplies I had just enough for supper and none to spare! As I had a letter to post I took a walk to the local supermarket which has a postbox where I posted my letter and went inside to buy one potato - yes just one since I would be going to the farm shop where I usually buy my potatoes the following day. The lady on the checkout asked if that was all I wanted, just the one rather small potato and I felt I must explain what I was going to use it for ie not for my supper! I can just imagine her at tea break telling her colleagues about the weird old lady she'd had at her till that afternoon can't you?!!! One of the great things about being my age is that I don't feel the embarrassment I would have felt years ago at things like this and maybe if it made her laugh that was a good thing? Goodwill to all men and all that!