The season of midwinter celebration is upon us.
Christmas is 6 weeks away. Hanukkah starts on Dec 20th this year. Winter solstice is, as always, on December 21st. Travel plans are being made. Stay-at-home coziness plans are being outlined. Sparkly decorations are appearing throughout the city. Wish lists are growing, and Santa is unquestionably starting to receive all those letters in the mail.
What? Seriously? So Soon?
One of the conversations I have with my family year after year is about gifts. About how we feel about gifts, what IS a gift, what do we do about the windfall of generosity and gifts. The idea of gifts is also magnified by the fact that both our sons have birthdays in the middle of this season and we inevitably end up with SO MUCH MORE than we need, want, or can physically handle.
So I try hard to be thoughtful about the entire experience of gifts and the holiday season. We try to remember the concept of the “4 Gifts“, where, in addition to their Christmas stocking, a person receives 4 gifts: Something they want. Something they need. Something to wear. Something to read. This doesn’t mean 4 gifts from EACH person; it means 4 gifts in total.
But of course it’s really hard to keep it that simple.
So I’ve added in “Made” gifts as a bonus – anything that is hand-made with love, recycled or upcycled, or created in alignment of “zero waste” as a bonus to these “4 Gifts”. This may include beeswax wraps, felt diffuser balls, bath bombs, epsom salts with DIY scents, knitted socks, felted dress-up masks… the list is endless. (Check out the FB group Zero Waste Vancouver for some awesome ideas in this!)