Before Christmas, I had read an article by Anna Quindlen, "Stuff is Not Salvation." She ponders how American's continue to be obsessed with accumulating stuff, even to the extent of trampling a Wal-Mart employee. This year for Christmas with my mom, sister and aunt, we tried something new: 3 gifts, 1 store bought and 2 either regifted, recycled or home-made. Part of this was purely practical, when you've just moved into a new house or apartment (like mom and sis), you've gotten rid of junk already and you don't want to accumulate more. For my aunt, she is trying to downsize from a house into a townhouse...more stuff to give away. Long ago my mom said she didn't want anything she had to dust...she'd rather have something we could enjoy together.
We had a surprising amount of creativity...I baked some treats and made gifts with the help of Shutterfly. My aunt made us photo collages from some of our recent trips. And then there were the "recycled" gifts. I asked for a Pyrex measuring cup. I got 3 certified "pre-loved" cups (well, one broke in the parking lot and the other I traded for some measuring cups). Obviously I'm the only one who cooks.
Gift giving continues all year long, and while the economy continues to be challenge, maybe you can share something pre-loved with your friends and family.