Thursday, November 21, 2013

Upon My Soapbox

Christmas can be quite hectic and stressful for many.
Funny thing,
it is only one 24 hour day
and yet look at how consuming it has become.

I read a quote yesterday that struck a chord.
Simply said,
  "Christmas isn't a season, it's a feeling."

Perhaps if more people could embrace this philosophy,
there would be more goodwill, more tradition, less commercialism.
Gifts would come from the heart.
Expectations would be less, finances wouldn't be as compromised,
and people would all be a whole lot happier,
(with the exception, of course, of the big commercial retailers!).
We would be able to free ourselves from the clutches
of the modern day concept of 'Christmas' ,
and get down to the business of
building upon memories  from our past Christmases,
while at the same time,
 creating new ones..... it should be.
I have long held the philosophy
that a handmade Christmas is the best,
and my family and friends have come to expect gifts that have been
thoughtfully constructed with them in mind.
I do not always make the gifts.
But I always give handmade
in an attempt to support other artisans.
I know in my heart that many of you do the same.
I'm really only preaching to the choir.
I wish
that the non-crafties in this world
would free themselves from the department stores
and shop handmade, too.
I wonder if they stop at Walmart on their way home from
the crafts fair that they didn't purchase anything from
and do their shopping.
There, I feel better.
Hope you have a wonderful day,

P.S. As an afterthought, might I add, if you have to shop,
try to shop local.


Terry said...

I agree with you completely! We always try to keep things simple.

Abby and Stephanie said...

The quote speaks to me. Isn't all this Black Friday/Cyber Monday stuff nutso! Home, family, handmade and the joy of being together is the Happy Christmas I like to celebrate.

TexWisGirl said...

i hate the rush and crush that has become this season.

john bord said...

So true

Past couple years our church adopted a couple of families for Christmas. Gifts were placed in bins for delivery. Most of the gifts were packaged toys of all types. Yet this has become the mindset of so many.

Kay L. Davies said...

Love your rant. I wish I had the talent to make handmade gifts. For several years after I quit smoking, I crocheted dog blankets, cat blankets, baby blankets, big-people-blankets, until everyone had at least one or two. They only had one thing going for them: warmth. No skill went into their making, as I am not at all crafty, but I had to keep my hands busy. Since then (several years now) I've been training my hands to keep still.
I must say I can well imagine people going to a craft fair, purchasing nothing, then going to Walmart, and it is a sad picture indeed.

Mary said...

I'm with you all the WAY! going to a Craft Fair on Saturday.I am almost done with my Grandchildren HOMEMADE gifts! I'm early this year and I'm so glad... I even got some delivered to the families in Wyoming and headed to CO for another family! Postage is a Killer with my out of town gift sending. Christmas is WHAT you MAKE it!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I think a lot of people feel the way you do Karen - personally I can barely get into the Christmas mood of gift giving anymore - if given the choice of money, gift cards or a hand made gift most on my list want the gift cards - so that is what they get - no joy in it for me but joy for them when they buy. My oldest daughter is about the only one that really appreciates handmade. Christmas has gotten so commercialized I can barely stand to shop during that period of time. I also think that stores should not be open the night before Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving day or the day after Thanksgiving! give people time with their families would be so nice - not all people live less than 30 minutes away from family and it takes some traveling.

julieQ said...

I too try to make many gifts...and you are right! Celebrate the feeling for sure!!

Miss Holly said...

Love your rant!!!!!!! It is exactly how I feel!!!!!! I just want a quiet peaceful homey day!!!!..I am going to do all hand made or home fact I think I might do a blog post to support your handcrafters....
I,think especially when the world is sooooooooooooo crazy...we need it more......a soft..not frantic Christmas!!!

Lynn said...

I agree 100% ! With all the black Friday nonsense, it just makes me sad. I try for a little oasis of Christmas sanity here.

Fiona said...

I find Christmas stressful ... now with family in distant places we don't do 'gifts' and my skype calls are far more important... I agree.. handmade is so fun..


Paula, the quilter said...

I haven't done 'big box store' gift shopping in a long time. I, too, give a thoughtful, handmade gift to loved ones and friends. I like to support the local artisans and crafts-people. In my locale, that is easy since we have a lot of sculptors (over 220?) because of the 3 foundries.

grammie g said...

Hi Karen... It was in the mailbox today,and like a kid at Christmas I hurried inside to open it!!
Yes I agree, because when I use my phone pocket it will remind me of you!!
That is what a gift should be!!

Thanks so much, I love it!!
I will email more !!

Linda Reeder said...

I guess it depends who you are giving gifts to as to whether hand made fits the bill. I often give hand made, but you don't hand make electronics.
On the other hand, I hardly ever shop at malls or big box stores for Christmas. I do buy a lot on line and have it delivered to my door. And then I go "shopping" in small towns or nursery gift shops or other fun places.
There is so much more to the Christmas experience than shopping, or even giving gifts. There is food and music and lights and decorations and being with loved ones. I love the Christmas SEASON. said...

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, with or without gifts I just love seeing my family together.

Carrie P. said...

I agree with you. I like to make most of my gifts. I am really bugged by all the stuff made from China. I like to buy local too.

Just Ramblin' said...

I love handmade gifts and try to make many gifts for others, also. When I receive a gift that someone has made it makes me feel "special" because I know they took the time to give of themselves. I think what you said is very timely. As I told you earlier, I'm looking forward to having my gifts completed early so I can sit back and enjoy the season and the real meaning of why we celebrate Christmas. Nola

Nancy said...

I love to make gifts. It is just getting so much harder has the family grows. I love your statement 'shop local'. Then I had to laugh. You live on an island. But I get the idea. Not from some far off land of underpaid workers and dangerous materials, but within the community. We love to shop our Saturday Market.

StitchinByTheLake said...

I love your sentiments....very well said. I do make many of my gifts but I freely admit I don't give as many gifts as lots of people I know. My grandchildren each get 3 gifts apiece from me - that's how many Jesus got so it must be a good number. :) blessings, marlene

Miss Val's Creations said...

I completely agree! Years ago my friends and I stopped exchanging gifts and in recent year my immediate family stopped exchanging too (except the children of course). It is a huge stress relief. It is so much better to just spend time together since that is really the only important aspect. Giving handmade is the way to go when giving gifts though. :)

Barb said...

It is going to be very simple....cold here...

Sheila said...

Very well said Karen , for me Christmas has always been handmade by me mostly but it still can be very stressful . My favourite thing to do is spend time with my family and enjoy a meal together . Hugs Sheila

Vickie said...

Amen ! The black Friday commercials seem to have been all you see on TV this year, or maybe I've just noticed them more because they are so very annoying.

DeniseinVA said...

Wise and wonderful this is Karen. When I see the turmoil on the TV about Black Friday, it certainly doesn't make us feel it's in the true Christmas Spirit. And I do love your header photo with the Dr. Seuss saying. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful post.

Melissa said...

Well said! Each year I find myself making more and more gifts for people. It just feels like it means so much more for them and me.