This Year Make Something and then Give it Away

knitI’m going to keep this short and sweet as its a fairly simple idea. This year make something and give it away as a present. Skip the mall. Bypass Costco. Boycott ebay. This year don’t just be a consumer, be a producer.

We’ve all given and received gifts that involved very little thought or effort: tacky ties, thoughtless trinkets, cheap candy. It doesn’t feel good to get or give these types of things. And lets face the shelves and racks of stores are filled with those types of gifts (and lets also face it, so are our shelves). So this year opt out of the capitalist, ad exec induced Christmas coma and engage in a truly from the heart form of radical yuletide rebellion. Here’s some ideas for your subversive gift giving:

– Knit a scarf, or if your brave, a sweater. Crochet a hat or mitts. Sure it will take some time but think of the appreciation from the person getting the gift, and the pride you’ll feel in having learned a new skill. Plus you’ll have a clear conscience about where and how that item was made. And think of the money you’ll save.

– Use old pics to make a scrapbook for a friend, a parent or grandparent. Use digital pics to make a calendar, or tshirts or a slideshow set to music. Why not make your own christmas cards. My wife and kids are great at this, and the things they make are always a big hit. Maybe you have creative block, well there’s lots of great idea floating around on the interwebs these days.

– Perhaps your a baker. Bake a cake or cookies and give it to someone. Bottle some jam, jelly, salsa, pickles (they say you can pickle just about anything). Take the extra effort to make it organic. People are willing to pay big bucks for homemade stuff like that, and the idea of actually knowing what’s in the stuff you eat and who made it is becoming more and more appealing.

– Have family living away??? Why not make a movie or a mocumentary about a day in the life of living away from them. I assure you laughter and tears will follow.

I’m sure you can come up with other ideas and maybe you would like to share them in the comments section. Maybe its too late for you this year but there’s always birthdays, anniversaries and before you know it Christmas will be here again. So file those ideas away for later.

The best theological reason  I can give (and perhaps the only one we need) is simply that we are made in the image of a creative, loving and giving God (Genesis 1:27), so shouldn’t our own giving reflect this same care and creativity?

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