My intention is to make, and buy handmade, where ever possible. In particular I want to support Australian crafters and independent businesses. I love the idea of Christmas. Of traditions, sharing, giving and gathering as a family. But too often all the 'stuff' leaves me with an empty feeling. The plastic toys inside the crackers which will be cleared in to the bin along with the expensive wrapping paper. The 'stocking fillers' which will amuse the little ones for a few days until they are lost or broken and then find their way to landfill too. The toy baskets stuffed with all the new gifts, but no real appreciation for them. Instead I want my money to support the talented crafters whose blogs I follow. I want less, with more meaning.
Instead of wandering the aisles of chain stores, I am clicking on the shop links on my favourite blogs. Instead of browsing markets filled with items made in China, I am browsing Madeit.com. There are so many talented makers, I don't think it will be very difficult to swap store brought for handmade. Handmade doesn't have to mean daggy hand painted door stops (unless that's your kind of thing.) Handmade can mean beautiful, original, unique, well crafted. It can mean supporting independent designers, stay at home mothers, self taught artisans, sewers, print makers, jewellers and ceramic artists.
I am being realistic about this pledge. I know there will be no escaping the purchase of such things as books for Grandpa, band shirts for the uncles and Lego for a certain toddler. I'm sure you will have a few of those inescapable purchases too. But given that we all probably spend more money on gifts at Christmas time than at any other time of the year, I think this is a great time to support the makers that form such a big part of our blogging community. If you don't have the time to make it yourself, why not buy it handmade rather than store brought? Why not think about buying less gifts, but better quality items? Like Jodie, I embrace this saying regarding gifts for my children, "Something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read." More gifts doesn't mean you love them more. Thoughtful gifts last and hold their meaning.
So, will you join me? Have I encouraged you to make and buy more handmade gifts this Christmas? I'm sure I'll be preaching to the choir for many of my readers, who already strive for a handmade Christmas. Perhaps you could leave a comment about the ways you celebrate with handmade in December? Or the ways you'd like to make your Christmas more crafty this year? I have a plan to help, which I will unveil soon. I'll just say, it includes the talented crafters whose work I have included in this post.