Monday Whazzup - Make Green Holiday Gifts and Bring Family Together
Posted Dec 02 2008 9:26pm
Scarf making fabric - $30. Hot cocoa - $1. Scissors - Free. Spending a snowy afternoon with your children making inexpensive, green-packaged, no-sew, thoughtful homemade gifts - Priceless!!!
Why spend hours at a shopping center agonizing over the ridiculously expensive, overly packaged, tremendously materialistic holiday gifts, when you could be spending that precious time with a child or friend? Making homemade gifts for the holidays sounds trite and dated to some, but for my family it is a valuable opportunity to learn how to give greener, more eco-friendly gifts while spending really special time together. Building family community is so important, and the process of making the crafts is a gift all by itself because of the fun we have working together.
Surrounded by scarves, my daughter holds the completed efforts of our scarf-making afternoon of fun.
Our homemade gift of choice this year is a scarf made out of fleece. It is a no-sew project, which means we do not use the electricity of a sewing machine or utilize chemicals or glues of any sort which might be harmful to the environment to make our gift.
While it is possible to measure and mark precisely, of course, my daughter and I choose to use an old scarf as a template. We lay out the yards of fabric, smooth it down, and I cut the long strips which will become the scarf.
While I do this, my daughter is snipping fringe designs on the end of each scarf. It is easy work although time consuming, so while we work, we talk about life, school, and family. She and I laugh hysterically at our secret jokes and she tests each scarf to make sure it is "perfect". We discuss what it means living a greener lifestyle; it does not mean we have to be extremists, it does mean we are trying to do our little part every day and children can be an active part of this experience.
Soon our project is done and our hot cocoa is empty but we are left with the memory of a beautiful afternoon where we have truly made a difference in each others lives. We have saved money, done something green, and spent time together.
Encourage your family and friends to become closer - make a craft together for the holidays and build a healthy community of relationships. Many are alone and depressed during the holiday season, so when you spend time together, you can truly change a life and brighten someone's day. I know my daughter and I brightened each others afternoon - we are still smiling.