Ord om julen

Jeg tar meg den frihet å sakse et innlegg fra whip up. Innlegget sier noe om det å lage gaver selv, og det å kjøpe håndlaget, men mest av alt sier den noe veldig treffende om vår kulturs julefeiring. Uansett hvor bevisste vi er, tror jeg vi trenger slike påminnere for ikke å bli revet med i dragsuget.

I took the liberty of copying this from whip up. The article says something about making your own gifts, about buying handmade, but most of all it says something very accurate about the christmas celebrations of our culture. I think we need these kind of reminders to avoid getting sucked in by the current, no matter how conscious we are.

"The angst that is involved in gift giving in the holiday season is not diminished by taking the handmade option. Some parts of the angst have disappeared such as the worry about becoming a rampant consumer and dealing with the crowds at the mall. And I always get so angry about the enormous amounts of packaging that seems to surround kid?s toys. And the price of everything is outrageous especially when you know that the item is made in a factory in China and those getting the profits are the rich fat cats in their tall towers who don?t care about anything except money. And then the day after Christmas when the toys fall apart and are tossed in the rubbish and all the little bits fall off everything and the item suddenly is useless - when the batteries are not included and you end up with piles of rubbish to throw away - makes me so so angry - the quality is just not there. And of course there is no love in going to the mall, all sweaty and stressed, searching high and low for the perfect gift and then just buying something because you are running out of time. There is no feeling in all the plastic packaging and the annoying snotty nosed pimply shop assistants who really don?t care. Many people become a Scrooge and choose not to celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah or Solstice or whatever your holiday celebration is at this time of year. But I just don?t see that as the answer.Choosing to make something (or buy something that has been lovingly made from an artist or crafter) is one way of saying NO to the commercial holiday experience, saying NO to sweatshops and environmental damage, saying NO to crappy plastic landfill. You are saying that giving in the holiday season is more than just stuff and things and spending money, it is love and joy and being part of something better in the world. But that does not diminish the angst of giving. The angst of whether the person you are giving your beautiful handmade, thoughtful gift to, the gift that you have spent time and love making, is going to love it like you do, is going to appreciate it as it should be appreciated. The truth is that most of them will not realise how much work you have put in - especially if they do not make things themselves, and if they are not going to appreciate it - and they don?t need another handmade scarf/hat/bag then what is the point of giving it to them. Giving, I think, is about feeling good about what you have given but also equally about knowing that the person you are giving it to will love it, appreciate it and actually use it. It might be more environmentally friendly and in tune with the person receiving the gift to give them a voucher for iTunes or a book voucher or purchasing something from a fairtrade community co-op.Another thing to consider is whether you have the time and the emotional stamina to make gorgeous handmade gifts for all your loved ones? In our family - amongst the adults we have put a price limit on gifts and a time limit too - we are realistic - for children though we are a little more generous - while at the same time ensuring that Christmas lives up to its promises, we don?t wish it to be the commercial bonanza that is depicted on tv. For the children the holiday season should be about fun and family and celebration, personal traditions, cooking and preparation is a big part of it - the anticipation is almost too much - and too many presents on Christmas morning can be emotionally exhausting - too much choice inhibits creativity.So while you may have taken the pledge to give handmade this holiday season - don?t wear yourself out, don?t make it a stressful holiday by taking on too much. Be realistic, set yourself limits, be easy on yourself and make this holiday more about the joy and fun of Christmas than about the perfect gift."  


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