Bah Humbug

brace yourselfIt’s November. The nights are longer and people’s spirits are dropping quicker than the temperatures. What do we do to cheer ourselves up? We cover everything in gaudy tinsel and retina-blowing lights, every shop speaker vibrates to the strains of some inanely repetitive  song, and the already financially strapped populace falls for the marketing campaigns and buries themselves in even more debt by going on a conscience salving shopping spree.

Don’t get me wrong, there are aspects of Christmas I like. The time off work, the excuse to over indulge in food and drink, the celebratory atmosphere, and of course mince pies.

What I don’t like is the overtly commercial aspects; the fact that stores fill their shelves with seasonal goodies in September, and that you can’t turn on the TV without being bombarded with advice on how to show your loved ones you do indeed love them by buying their product. You don’t need to buy them anything to show you care! Try just telling them, or better still, showing them.

For the past few years I have taken to making gifts for my family. I make confectionery and cookies, and everyone seems to really enjoy them. There is a lot of thought put into compiling my themed little hampers. A lot of effort goes into making them, and despite what some may think, a fair amount of expense. I don’t do this to save money. I do this because I would rather give someone a gift they can truly enjoy for a few moments than buy them something unwanted that sits in a cupboard until February (or until they have forgotten who gave it to them) then taken to a charity shop.

I am making a plea now. Instead of buying something your family don’t really want or need, why not consider making gifts this year? If you are looking for edible gift ideas, I don’t pimp my alter-ego quite enough so check out Mutherfudger for lots of ideas. It doesn’t have to be edible – you could knit something, write something, paint something, record something, build something, teach them something… the possibilities are endless. Your time and consideration are priceless, and worth more than anything Debenhams, John Lewis or Marks and Spencers could ever offer.

That being said – if you MUST buy something, then buy them a book. Buy someone a story, a far off land, another world, an adventure, a romance, new friends. Give the gift of words.



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