I know Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas season has officially arrived at my house when I stuff that turkey carcass into my slow cooker to simmer for 12 to 24 hours until it becomes a delicious and nourishing bone broth – to which I will add some fresh vegetables and dumplings for dinner. That also means it’s time to start decorating the house, getting the Christmas cards ready to mail, and gathering recipes. And, of course, there’s gift giving to think about.
Shopping is an inevitable part of this season, but it doesn’t have to be the primary thing that drives us. Instead of buying all your gifts, try making some of them. If you like to bake, gift some beautiful loaves of bread. If you aren’t a baker, assemble some DIY spice mixes or recipes in a jar. If you’re crafty, which I’m not, then make some ornaments. Then, look around your house and find all those little bits and bobs that you’ve been holding onto for a rainy day and come up with creative ways to embellish or wrap your gifts. I guarantee this is a lot more fun than fighting the crowds at the mall or your favorite big box store. As an added bonus, you can do it all while wearing pajamas and your favorite fuzzy socks, not to mention sipping hot cocoa (try putting a shot of Baileys in your cocoa for an even more fun experience).
If you must shop, and most of us do, then try shopping local. Support local businesses and craftspeople, including, even especially, hard working indie authors like me. Watch for holiday bazaars in your area. Check your local bookstores or do a web search of local writers’ groups to find lists of local authors. You can even “shop local” on Etsy by clicking a button that brings up craftspeople and Etsy stores in your area.
However you celebrate this season of giving, keep in mind that sone of the easiest and most valuable gifts you can give are love and kindness. Be kind to strangers, friends and family alike. I guarantee you will receive instant gratification for doing so, and will be making our world a better place to boot.
Christmas is a season,
For gifts of every kind;
All the glittering, pretty things
That Christmas shoppers find;
Baubles, beads, and bangles
Of silver and gold.
Anything and everything
That can be bought or sold,
Is given at this season
To place beneath the tree;
For Christmas is a special time
For giving lavishly.
But there’s one rare and priceless gift
That can’t be sold or bought,
It’s something poor or rich can give
For it’s a loving thought.
And loving thoughts are something
For which no one can pay,
And only loving hearts can give
This priceless gift away.
Poem submitted by:Stacey at http://321greetings.com/holidays/christmas-is-a-season-for-giving/#.VHuIA2fisqM
Note: All images used with attribution and permission from FreeDigitalPhotos.net