Tuesday, 18 October 2011

the careful Christmas project

{see how it went HERE!}

I absolutely love Christmas, but I usually prefer to wait until the month of December to get into Christmas spirit. However, this year I want to start thinking about it a lot earlier. This is because I want to do things a bit differently this year. I am launching my very own careful Christmas project.

The aim of the project is to make this a non-corporate Christmas as much as I possibly can. I am inspired by all the creativity circulating on the internet and I want to avoid the guilty surge of corporate consumerism that usually engulfs me. Instead I want to find creative solutions to gift-giving, cards, wrapping and decorating.

Here are my self-imposed guidelines:

  • homemade gifts, e.g. badges, hand-sewn things, preserves, food
  • handmade gifts, e.g. bought on Etsy, craft fair or similar
  • vintage/second-hand gifts
  • gifts that recycle or upcycle things I already own
  • re-use saved wrapping & ribbons
  • or use up new wrapping bought in previous years
  • I have a lot of cards bought in the sale last year, any extras must be handmade
  • decorations: same principles as for gifts

Note that I'm not calling this 'eco' or 'ethical' or anything like that. We are flying to Austin, Texas on Christmas day to visit family so that's one big fat carbon footprint this year! I'm just trying to be more careful than usual about the way we celebrate.
Now, I reckon that this is probably going to be quite challenging for me. I am guessing that it will be more time-consuming and more expensive (without that sweat-shop labour!) To help me stay motivated I will be posting, in January, about how it went, including the percentage of gifts that met the criteria above!
I also think it will be fun. If anyone else feels like joining in, that would be wonderful!


andrea said...

great idea! I've been stocking up some goodies already : ) Too often when I am in a store I have the sinking feeling (maybe it's a good feeling) that all of the products could just as easily be made at home. happy to join in with these guidelines. Love your features . . . my Gran has those ornaments and I have searched the thrift stores many times looking for a set. xoxo

Mamasita said...

I am SO PROUD of you friend!
I have been knitting like CRAZY lately, and my goal is to "gift" people with my creations!
Thanks for the inspirations dear friend...
Happy Day to YOU!
~Your friend,

mahaila said...

This is a fantastic idea! I always end up spending a lot of time and effort on presents..but I think that it is worth it in the end. Perhaps I will especially keep this non corporate theme in mind for this christmas:)

Immie said...

This is a great idea and one I've been thinking about implementing myself :) My only hesitation is that I LOVE the rushing into town and flying around like a crazy person trying to find things for everyone. It really makes me all christmas-y xD

But! I am going to limit myself. I will only buy store-bought gifts for my parents - everyone else will receive handmade/homemade or otherwise non-corporate gifts :3!

Suki said...

Thank you all so much for these positive comments!

@andrea - I bet you could make most things in stores with your multitude of talents/skills!

@Immie - I know what you mean about the rush around town... and all those bags full of goodies hanging off the wrist... and the cold & the xmas lights up...maybe I'll do a race round the charity shops instead!

Magical Day Dream said...

I love those mini owls. They are the cutest!



Lauren said...

This is a FABULOUS idea!!! I've been thinking a lot about the same things myself lately. As I get older and think about the kind of world we live in and the kind of world I want for myself, I realize I have to create a space for myself that isn't so influenced by corporate America and conspicuous consumption. I re-use paper bags from the liquor store and hardware store as wrapping (just turn them wrong-side out) and tie with cotton yarn ("brown paper packages tied up with string!") and I try to either buy handmade/secondhand or make something for all my gifts.

You've already got some cute ideas--can't wait to see what else you come up with!

Suki said...

Oh I love the idea of 'brown paper packages tied up with string' - I bet that looks wonderful! It's a shame we don't get many paper bags here in the UK.

Thanks for your encouragement Lauren. I find it inspiring that so many people are already thinking along these lines!

Maša said...

I live by similar guidelines every day - well, I really try to. I feel quite guilty when I buy something that is mass produced. when creating, I usually reuse the items I find around my house or incorporating vintage that could be given a new life.
but it is a bit time consuming and sometimes I have to get something cheap in a hurry. I'll copy your badge as a friendly reminder. :)

Suki said...

Thanks for your comment!

I am impressed by people who try to live by these guidelines. This project has definitely made me more thoughtful about my choices on a daily basis, which is a very positive thing.

I do think it is very difficult though and there are a lot of things competing for resources in our lives; time, money, energy... I think we have to try our best but we can't be too hard on ourselves either.

I'm sorry the badge currently seems to be a bit pixellated... I'll try to sort this out & will let you know! :)

Kanelstrand said...

Thank yo for pointing me to your lovely post. Your idea should be embraced by a lot more people, because it is great. I, for one, totally support you!

Also, wonderful blog design.

Suki said...

Thanks for your kind, supportive comment. Your wonderful blog has a lot of inspiration for people wanting to change their lifestyles!

The blog design is thanks to the illustration superpowers of Kate at Kate's Irrelevant!

ElleSee said...

I love the name "A Careful Christmas". I too am trying my best to give gifts that are handmade. I feel like they are so much more personal, and have a story behind them.

Kc said...

Hello!! Thanks for your nice comment on my blog :) I hope my little series gives you some good inspiration! :) it can be hard work doing it this way but I think you get more satisfaction out of it and the people you give gifts to appreciate them more because of the thought you've put in :) good luck!!



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