Do any of you get this sick feeling when seeing all the Christmas advertising for gifts? I have wonderful visions of magical moments celebrating the birth of my Savior as an ideal, of family moments of joy, of storytelling, crafts, making cookies, and snuggling under little twinkle lights, and not many that involve oceans of wrapping paper. So, keeping in mind the ideals I envision, which have much more to do with relationships than stuff, I've been for many years making gifts for my family, usually useful gifts, but sometimes just stuff I've made. Have you all seen this? I think that the idea of not being such a consumer is great, and anyone who knows me at all is quite aware that I'd rather make it than buy it. But the idea of gifting something one of a kind and lovingly handmade makes me really happy. Even if I can't make everyone a present, I think that to buy handmade things and give them for gifts instead of spending my money on mass produced stuff would make the holidays really fun for me, and hopefully more personal and useful gifts.
My gift ideas are top secret, since people who receive them may look at my blog, but Sew Mama Sew will have a great many projects indexed throughout November for all the people you love. I've already found some perfect and unique gift ideas.
Another thing that really hit me the other day was the idea of bartering. An email from Sarah Brown inspired me and now I'm wondering if I could organize something like a co-op to trade things people have made, clothes the children have outgrown, toys and books and food and eggs and vegetables I've grown, all for bartering. I love the way the Browns are fostering community with the people around them, and I love their idea for modern village living with an emphasis on walking paths instead of roads (Simpler Times Village). And I love how they love kids! Me too, me too!
P.S. On our walk yesterday, I took this picture of this lovely little tree with these gorgeous scarlet oblong berries, but what kind of tree is it?