Monday, December 08, 2008

POST CONSUMERISM GIFT GUIDE...

Or: no time, no photos, (no snow) but lots of links. Click them. x

To recap: I used to have to buy up to 40 presents for relatives each year, so my consumerism fatigue set in way, way before the current recession - oh, about 10 years before. Now we have thankfully called a halt to the madness I realise that I actually love giving gifts to people. {If you think you might be getting a gift from me and you like surprises: stop reading now.}

Back when consumerism wasn't a dirty word (last year) I did an under £50 gift guide for Gridskipper that still stands up now, (providing none of the shops mentioned have gone bust this week) if you want to go about things in the traditional way. But it feels slightly obscene to be trawling the high street buying loads of shit no one really needs, if you'll pardon my French. (This post on planned obsolescence is really worth reading too.) This year my emphasis is definitely on local and/or handmade.

I so loved making the blurb photo book I did in the summer. I do think that is the best gift you could give. For a family gift you could compile Christmas day photos over the years - mine would be of people asleep on the sofa with their mouths open. If you were doing this you would have been so on it weeks ago as blurb takes about 3 weeks to publish and deliver, Apple takes two weeks normally but you'd be cutting it way too fine if you hadn't got your arse in gear by now. (cough)

My local area was in mid gentrification when the recession hit so I'm making a point of buying gifts from the local independent shops that opened less than a year ago (one has already closed, there's a Lease For Sale sign on another and the others seem to be just hanging on.) There are three farmers' markets within a couple of miles of here so they'll be getting a visit too. If, like me, you know a lot of virile people with beaucoup offspring, a hamper is the perfect gift for all the family: wine, champagne, cheeses, chocolates, tea, preserves and specialty bits and pieces from local sources, all nestled in a wooden wine crate (free if you chat up a wine merchant) and wrapped up in a (very reasonably priced) National Trust recycled picnic blanket. Excuse me for being a Granny but the National Trust is always worth supporting.

And finally, at Christmas my inner Martha will be silenced no longer. I realise that she doesn't possess everyone so the answer to that would be to buy handmade, either via etsy of course (but check final posting dates) or to visit artists' studios which are all holding Christmas Open Studio events about now (I went to two last weekend). Even artists whose work is out of your price range will very likely have been enterprising enough to offer cards or small, affordable gifts for sale. And you get to eat mince pies and be merry in person. Being of the crafty persuasion I'm using fabric and trimmings I already had in my stash to make gifts for mes amies. I've done this for the past couple of years: gingerbread biscuits here, Xmas stockings here. I enjoy thinking up and making them; they get a personal handmade gift: win/win.

Oh and the best (and so easy to make) thing to adorn your beautifully wrapped pressies: paper roses - tutorial here.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

well right up my alley..considering for years i actually hung some x-mas lights on a chair and said to friends: "that's my x-mas tree" ;)
nancy

Lola Is Beauty said...

Ha! I actually have some Christmas garlandy stuff hanging over the back of a chair, waiting to be put up somewhere. Looks like I've just ticked "decorating" off the list without having to lift a finger...

Gisele said...

I love christmas, this time of the year I´m transformed into this person that bakes and crafts and whatnot. I dont have a large family so I dont feel the pressure, I´m just enjoying the season!

Iheartfashion said...

Great ideas!
I'm going to use that blurb site right away.

Anonymous said...

oh do you know about this?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/competition/2008/dec/12/faber-diary-competition