Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Season of Giving

DAY 281

The Number One question I get regarding my Nothing New Year is about food - What is "new food?, Can you eat out?, How about fast food? Do you grow your own food? Do you eat locally? Are you vegetarian? I love these conversations because they really challenge me to match my behavior with my beliefs about food and eating. The best talks have been those around the "localvore" movement - the latest books, great speakers, gardening stories and promises to trade pesto for tomato sauce (or raspberry jam - I will trade for either!).

The Number Two question is about gift giving. My commitment this year was to give either second hand items, or use second had items to make gifts. I started out strong and well-intentioned. I had been buying use picture frames with the idea of framing some great photos I had taken on my trips - shamrocks in the forests of California, aspen trees in Aspen, and swimming star nephew at Junior Olympics in Florida. Great plan - then most of the frames did not really "go" with the photos, so I bought new frames. I also ended up framing (new) these cool square greeting cards (new) with quotes on them.

I decided that to the best of my abilities, I would make something so that even if I had to buy new materials, there would be some element of hand-made by Kristin Skarie. Given the fact that I started most of the gifting preparation process on Dec 10, this was my best effort. I also allowed the purchase of "consumables"or "experiences" as a present or to supplement the handmade gifts...
  • Lavender body oil and lavender sugar scrub stored in (new) glass jars and bottles.
  • Spicy walnuts in (new) bags
  • Cranberry-walnut chutney in (new) glass jars)
  • Peppermint bark and hot chocolate (new - Williams Sonoma - the best)
  • Candles in glass vases (new) with little green stones (had them) - super decorative if I may say so myself :)
  • Terry's Chocolate Oranges, Ghiradhelli Squares - so so good and favs all around
  • Book for Olivia (she is 3 and would not "get" the whole used/handmade thing)
  • Lincoln Logs to make a mini log cabin for JoeyO
I defaulted to gift cards for some friends - itunes, Barnes and Noble, Starbucks...somewhat consumable...there is a fine line between what's consumable and what's not. Finally, I went way outside the lines with these great (handmade by someone in New Zealand) wall tiles.

I am proud that I did not totally give in to materialism this giving season...the fact that I resisted getting the Obama Head Chia Pet for Sue says a lot about my discipline and tenacity. (Someone else gave her one so I at least I got to see what it looks like...) All told, I spent $321 on new things for 19 people...about $17 per person.

Now that the holidays are over - almost over as I have a few more deliveries to make - I will give myself a "C+" for sticking to my original plan. In the end I felt good about my endeavor and am making plans for 2011 to try again with the handmade things...hope you like walnuts!

Happy New Year - Have a Nothing New Day! ~Kristin

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