Wednesday, 24 November 2010

consumable gifts {part 1:the preamble}

After a recent de-cluttering, I was reminded that we have far too much stuff. We spend time and money accumulating stuff. We then spend time and money housing the stuff and cleaning the dust off the stuff.

Inspired by a blog called 365 Less Things (I know. It should be 'fewer', not 'less'. But the content is excellent so I can forgive them), I became more ruthless in my de-cluttering (I still have a long long way to go. I'll never be a minimalist, but my clutter had reached the 'unmanageable' stage, so immediate action was required.). It did get me thinking about gifts though. Some of the things I was getting rid of were gifts and, until recently, I had kept many things out of guilt.

A friend of mine made an interesting point: how often do you go to someone's house and look around for the gift you gave them three Christmases ago? (The answer to that rhetorical question should be 'never' for this argument to work) Then there are these conversations:

Random friend: Hey look!
Me: What?
Random friend: The dog* statue!
Me: Um...
Random friend: You got it for me! Remember?
Me: ...Did I?
Random friend: Yeah! I love it! You got it for me 5 years ago when you went on holiday.
Me: Are you sure that was...
Random friend: Yeah! It must have been you. I think it was you. Well anyway, I love it! I always keep it on that shelf.
Me: Great!

You must have had one of those conversations before.

That thinking helped me to get rid of things I had been keeping (just because they were gifts) even though I no longer wanted/needed/liked them. Remember: the people giving the gifts really care about you. So, that photo frame blessed you for 5 years - great! Don't hang onto it just because you feel you should. Some things are good for a time. Just because you're getting rid of it now, it doesn't mean you never liked it. Tastes change, fashions change, needs change. Get rid of it and get over it.

This then led me to think about the gifts I'm giving. I don't want to give someone something which will add to the clutter and end up in landfill. I'd rather they had something they'd really use and/or use-up.

Can you see where I'm going with this?

Consumable gifts!

One Christmas, a friend of ours made fudge as a gift to us. Not only was it great fudge but it was gone within a month, so no extra clutter in our home. She enjoyed making it (I hope) and we enjoyed eating it.

That got me thinking (you can tell I've been doing a lot of thinking in this blog post**. It happens about once a year. Don't get used to it.) about other handmade consumable gifts. I've compiled a list and I will very kindly share that list with you. I'm nice like that.

So, part 2 in the consumable gifts series will be the handmade gifts (I thought I'd share that list first so that you actually have enough time to make these things before Christmas).

For now, I will leave you with a picture of some sock cupcakes (why not?).

*I would never every buy someone a statue of a dog.
** I tried to condense my long, rambling thoughts on the topic into one blog post (this one), which is why it may seem a bit disjointed. Sorry about that. I just thought you'd like to know where this sudden drive for de-cluttering and consumable gifts came from.

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