Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas is Good: The Gift Giving on a Budget Dilemma Continued

I wrote about my frustration with materialism exposed by the holidays (in me and others). That's only a part of the picture, though.

Gift giving (and receiving) has been really meaningful for me as well. I really like Christmas gift giving in the family I grew up in. My parents and sibling go out of their way to make or buy things that are quirky, unique and somehow fit the person. There are always surprises that make you laugh. It's also about more than just us: one family member often finds a creative way to give to people in need as part of the process as well (buy a fairly traded gift, make a donation in your name, etc).

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Meaningful Gifts on a Budget Dillemma Continued

My general approach to the Meaningful Gifts on a Budget problem has been to create something: cards, art, write a song, etc. I've gotten better at creatively dealing with this annual dilemma myself, but until this year I never thought that others might be dealing with the same thing - until I googled it.

I struggle with the sell, sell, buy, buy, thing that happens during the holidays. It can be depressing. So it's easier to judge and bemoan the state of the materialistic west (or try to ignore it) than think of making a difference somehow. Besides how important is giving gifts anyway?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Creative Meaningful Gifts

More on meaningful gifts: some of my favorite gifts are things my family or friends made for me -- a drawing, a hat, or handmade card to me is worth far more than the time put into it.

Not everyone has time or interest in making things, however. Another idea: give something someone else made. Etsy has some great and affordable art.

Christa and I put together three art and music specials this year made up of paintings, writings and music we created before starting our sabbatical.

If you'd like to give a gift of art and music from the Reuels, here is a chance to do it on a budget.

Specials run until Dec 7.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Meaningful Gifts Budget Dilemma

Most years the holidays are a mix of joy (Christmas songs have that part covered) and the angst (a less common holiday song theme) of trying to find or make gifts that are meaningful. On a budget. A CNN article from last year had some good ideas -- being honest, regifting, etc.

Christa and I have also learned a few things through trial and error in this area. Reflection helps. Patience is called for. Also - creativity, planning and (go figure) trust!

If you're facing a Meaningful Gifts Budget Challenge this year may you find grace for yourself and others and take the chance to learn something in the process.

Friday, November 11, 2011

November Brings Strange Drawings

Figure this one out. Or better yet just enjoy it.