Photo: Laura Holdeman
One of my favorite things to do is buy wool sweaters
a thrift store and felt them (wash in hot water and dry on high heat).
Then use the fabric for all sorts of cute projects - pillows, mittens,
stuffed animals, ornaments, handbags - almost anything looks cute when
made with felted wool. I'm particularly proud of my argyle pig this
year. - Laura Holdeman
My sisters and I (all in our 50's) sort of fell into it a few years
ago. Somehow we started giving each other the gift of not expecting any
gifts. We had already fallen into the habit with our parents of only
giving gifts to each other if we happen to be in the same building for
Christmas, and then they were expected to be useful and inexpensive.
The thing that led us to this was the understanding that the
expectation of having to buy gifts was ruining Christmas for us all.
Every year the list would get longer and the after Christmas debt was
higher. They buying stopped being fun and started being an ordeal. The
gifts often were useless over priced crap that no one actually wanted
the next day.
Myself, I also stopped giving gifts to people I didn't really know. If
I knew someone well enough to know what they loved, and I came across
something I knew was "them", then I would give the gift. Most of the
people I stopped giving gifts to returned the favor the next year
completely without the (I confess) expected animosity. Rather I felt a
sense of gratitude that they were also now freed of the demand.
We do give home made things freely, at Christmas, and all year,
actually. And gifts of assistance and skilled service (I am a window
washer, very popular). We volunteer and donate blood and other such
good guy activities in the season too.
And we are totally shameless when it comes to feasting.
That's our low-buy Christmas policy. - Suli Marr
Last year my roommate and I deliberated like heck over
what to do. We
wanted something...but did we want a living, new (and sprayed) tree cut
down and shipped all the way from Ontario or Quebec
So we went
to a Christmas tree lot and got extra branches that were going to be
tossed anyway. The "dumpstering" version of Christmas tree decorating!
The bus driver and passengers on the way home all smiled at us and told
us we made the bus smell nice. And our place looked great too,
even without a real "tree."
I am so inspired by this movement and the idea that
drives it. This
year, my boyfriend and I have cleaned out our apartment and are
determined to give ourselves a living room this Christmas. A great gift
to anyone would be help them with some cleaning, organization, or mild
chores this season to start the coming year fresh and new. It's amazing
how having an extra hand to help can make such a difference! -A.J. Denver, Co
Just thought this quote would inspire and encourage.
"Thrift is the really romantic thing; economy is more romantic than
extravagance...thrift is poetic because it is creative; waste is
unpoetic because it is waste...if a man could undertake to make use of
all the things in his dustbin, he would be a broader genius than
Shakespeare." G. K. Chesterton, What's Wrong With the World
Chapter IV The Romance of Thrift - Noelle Allison
My family started this years ago. We are a large
family and had trouble instituting and sticking to the $10.00 or one
gift rule. So we made new rules. Everyone got everyone else a gift,
except you're not allowed to buy it. We have even more fun now on xmas
morning than ever. We keep all the regular trappings of baking, carol
singing, tree trimming, great food, and visiting family. We think all
year and are always on the look out for something you didn't buy and
can give as a gift. For us re-gifting is de-rigeur! Also promos,
giveaways and other freebies all make an appearance. Gifts are found,
made, or passed along. It allows children, teens, adults, and
grandparents to try and be creative and give meaningful gifts. The
exchange of gifts becomes much more significant as all the gifts are
literally priceless. On xmas day it seems the best gifts are given by
those with the least ability to buy, children and low income, and
therefore the most accustomed to being creative and seeing the value in
objects that can't be bought. - Ian Buchanan
I haven't bought anything for Xmas for many many
years, including cards, and keep urging friends to do likewise. I
absolutely hate the meaningless hype at this time of the year and the
waste of resources that goes with it, food included. Instead of taking
part in all the consumerism, perhaps people should dedicate some of
their spare time over Xmas (and hopefuly throughout the year) to help
local communities and animals (who incidentally get more abused at this
time of the year than at any other) or do something constructive for
the environment. A sigh of relief to find there are some intelligent,
thinking people out there, so do indulge in buying nothing! All the
best - Hella, UK
My grandmother used to make boxes for small gifts out
of old cards. I loved these. She would also take styrofoam balls and
cut small pieces of fabric and apply them to the balls to make
ornaments. She also made peanut butter balls and cheese balls. My
family used to always wrap gifts for anytime of the year in the comics
pages from the newspaper. - DeShea
I would like to share with you a little song I made
up: On the last day of Christmas Jesus came to me, and whispered in my
ears, "That's not what I meant." I like to sing it to my husband while
driving through town. - Vivian Phillips, Bermuda.