Posts Tagged ‘Christmas giving’

Christmas Giving 2010

I posted this piece in November 2009.  Perhaps it’s the time of year, but  yesterday I found myself writing almost exactly the same words again in a new post.  Our views haven’t changed at all, and I thought I’d really like to share them with you again, particularly as there are so many visitors who weren’t reading our blog last year. For me, this post is a statement about why we approach the festive season the way we do, and a precursor to many of the December posts to follow.  Maybe reposting an updated version of it each November will become a Fig Jam and Lime Cordial tradition!

For the last nineteen years, Pete and I have made most of our Christmas gifts. It’s something that we love to do, not just because it feels like we’re keeping the spirit of the season, but also because it allows us to let loose our creativity. It never really feels like Christmas until we start the annual cooking and crafting ritual. Over the coming weeks, I’ll be blogging about the things we’re making for Christmas. Hopefully you’ll find something that inspires you to create your own handmade gifts this year!

Why should you even bother making presents when they’re so easy to buy? Here are some of the reasons we do it :

1. As I mentioned above, we really enjoy the process. We love the feeling that we’re giving of ourselves – homemade gifts are far more personal, and our friends seem to appreciate the time and effort we put into them. The proviso here is that they can’t be crap – don’t give people things made from toilet paper rolls, unless the rolls are filled with growing heirloom seedlings and your friends are avid gardeners.

2. It saves us a fortune. $20 won’t buy a decent present, but it’s enough to create several homemade gifts. Because of that, it allows us to give freely, without the miserly Scroogeness that a tight budget imposes on Christmas spending.

3. It allows us to give small gifts without obligating the recipient to respond. I love that we can take a plate of cookies to the neighbours and no-one feels the need to reciprocate. I don’t ever want our gift giving to impose a sense of obligation. It’s much easier to achieve that with homemade presents, particularly baked goods, than it is with purchased items.

4. Wherever possible, we try and give consumables at Christmas. Our houses are all so full of clutter – it’s much nicer to give something that isn’t going to compound that issue. Most of the gifts come from our kitchen, although we’ll occasionally include small homemade items, like Christmas decorations, beeswax candles or crystal bookmarks.

Over the past couple of years, we’ve been packing mini hampers for Christmas. We purchase small paper bags with drawstring handles, and fill them with goodies – last year, each bag had a couple of jars of jam, some homemade vanilla syrup and an assortment of homemade chocolates. We also gave small bags of spiced nuts, boxes of speculaas, mini fruit cakes and mini fruit and nut cakes. Most of these items can be made well in advance, leaving just the baked goods to be made in the week before Christmas.

Watch this space – there’s lots more to come!

PS. Please have a look at our Christmas page for more gift ideas!

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