Freedom is not always freeing if you ask me. Too many choices can overwhelm. Again, for me. So, this holiday season I decided to narrow my scope and count on my neighborhood (Greenwood in the house!) to help me with my holiday shopping. Not only did I get to know some cheerful, creative and kind shop owners, the best part was that I was done in a day’s time. A DAY. Which freed me up to sing Christmas carols to Milo around the Christmas tree, drink my own eggnog lattes (so much cheaper and enjoyable in one of your own ceramic mugs) and channel my inner crafter.
These cards a 5 year old could make. Which is why they turned out to be a success in my book. Just my skill level. I am a wanna be crafter. I think about crafts or things homemade more than I create them myself. This is do in large part to having little to no threshold when it comes to tolerating frustration, which speaks to my inner toddler. Yet I like to think if I surround myself with creative people that some of their glitter will rub off on little ol’ me.
Sure. We “can make that!” we declare as we pick up that stylishly felted floral broach adorned with just enough vintage buttons that make you bust open your pocketbook or trot down to the local craft store to gather the supplies. But the difference between me and them is that they really can and I can’t. I just like to think so. Which is why I prefer to think about making that hand knit stocking or stitching that pretty embroidery pattern rather than try. Sustains the comforting illusion that I can make anything (which is not true of course but it feels good to think so).
Let me get back to shopping. Shopping local, that is. We live in an age and culture that buys (sigh) their values I realize so if you want more time with your families or friends, time to bake cookies, do laundry or to channel your inner crafter I recommend just walking out your front door. Makes for a more meaningful gift giving experience. Not to mention, you get to interact with another human being who lives and breathes as you do and is trying jut as you do to sustain and support themselves. It’s more work than filling up your electronic shopping cart and clicking “pay now” in the upper right hand corner of your computer screen but worth the investment.
Here were my stops:
Sasquatch Studios – LOVE! Local art, homewares, jewelry, delicious children’s clothes, and last Thursday you guys could have scored a free beer from Park Pub and 15% off the merch.
Emma Jeans Antiques – I spent at least half an hour learning about the early jazz scene in Seattle at EJ’s at no extra charge. And talk about treasures…
Top Ten Toys - Fun for the whole family. I wanted to buy Milo (I mean have Santa get Milo) all of those marionettes. They aren’t that creepy.
Wouldn’t it be swell if I could make all of my Christmas gifts? Sure. I value the homemade but there is something to be said for being honest about one’s limitations. As well as those falsely perceived ones.
New Year’s Resolution: Try more. Think less.