Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Art of Giving - Part Three

Liquid Amber December 2, 2009

December: Here we are again with winter on the horizon, it's dark at 5 o'clock, the garden's been put to bed for the season, the woodpile is freshly stocked and the flower bulbs are in.

Giving: It's also the season of giving, but over the years commercialization has obliterated the traditional sense what that means. Whatever happened to the art of homemade and handmade? Our ancestors celebrated with gifts from their kitchens, their hands, their writings and their environment or donated time to help a neighbor.

Rethink: Look at the season and gift giving in general with a new perspective: support a local or independent artisan, shop at your local craft fairs (many of which raise money for community needs) or make it yourself. Get back to the basics and reawaken your imagination. Be creative with your wrapping and use recycled materials you might ordinarily throw out (the comics page, magazine pictures, material, old photos, ribbon and string). Let whimsy, a finely tuned sense of the absurd, or an elegant obsession take over. Make someone laugh out loud or take their breath away.

We all have so much: For most of us our closets and drawers are overflowing we stuff we love, take care of and rarely use. Make a point on the next rainy day to spend some time with your closet or that place where you store the stuff you're surely going to use someday. Harvest those cherished items you never wear or use and donate them to a local charity or drive: One of our local high schools collects coats and jackets every year to donate to shelters. Donate to your local Hospice, Goodwill, or Salvation Army store and support organizations that provide priceless services to the people they serve. The possibilities are endless, so take a little time out and think about what you can do without whipping out your debit card in a big box store. This can also translate to valuable lessons for your children.