Wednesday, October 28, 2009

OH NO!!! Thinking Christmas

Last week I saw my first TV commercial for Christmas. This week the Christmas virus must have spread, I've seen 3 new commercials from different companies. GAAAK!

OK, (take breath here) now October really is the time I've always started thinking of Christmas and Christmas presents. Though, unlike before, this year I'm imposing two constraints: 1) think basics, 2) pursue low footprint.

So how am I doing this? Had the ahha moment last spring when my handspinning guild started talking about a dishcloth ring. Never heard of it before. The premise is to make a handknitted dishcloth and exchange it.

Hmm. Handmade dishcloth. But why? A dishcloth costs under a buck, unless you're looking at designer stuff. Where would a handmade dishcloth fit in? But wait, it can make footprint sense! I knit a dishcloth and give it as a gift. Cost of gift is $1.50 in materials max (unless you have a field of cotton and have spun the yarn...sure I have many pounds of cotton fiber in my stash, but this year, not enough time to spin it into yarn for dishcloths, so I'll buy cotton yarn) and $0 in time (labor of love). Balance that against the cost of a stupid present that will be thrown out or regifted $5-$20. The recip of my gift will lay it over the kitchen sink faucet, whether they ever wash dishes by hand or not. No one will throw out a handmade dishcloth and they may actually use it. And each time they use it they remember the knitter. Warm fuzzy moment here.

OK now about packaging my gift dishcloths. I've saved up all the tissue paper from gifts-past. I've also saved past gift boxes and envelopes. Basically, having not landfilled either, saving for reuse, becomes my small statement against landfilling gift wrapping.

So basically, I'm now knitting a slew of dishcloths as Christmas gifts. Trying to start a trend back to gifts being a labor of love and practicality and not a 'just grab something from a store to satisfy a gift requirement' and buy gift wrappings that will instantly be put into the landfill.

Yes, we can reduce our footprint and return to the basics of what a Christmas gift from the heart really means.

Make it personal.

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