It's shopping time for most people who give holiday gifts. For me that means supplies for the things I'm making and very little time at big box stores. I prefer earthy, heartfelt and handmade for the Solstice gifts we exchange, though we do indulge in store-bought items that enable creativity, are natural, and/or speak to the soul of the recipient. We keep things simple with a minimum of gifts, probably much more modestly than the average American family, and we leave some of the dreamier, more popular toys for birthday celebrations.
As consumers, we have an opportunity to shape how we experience the holidays just by choosing where we shop. We will be shaping the holidays for all those who exist in our immediate economic area, as well as those in our wider economy.
If you can, buy handmade, make it yourself, or even consider buying second hand. The world does not need more plastic, toxic, electronic stuff.
Buy local and support local businesses, even if the products you buy are not handmade and are mass produced.
Buy less material goods for your children. This is supposed to be a holiday about giving, not receiving, and if your children are the recipients of what you give, you aren't really teaching them to give, are you?
Try to find some place to donate your time, if not your money, to teach your children (and remind yourself) that there are others who need what you have to offer, that there are others who have far less that you do, and that compassion and giving are the true spirits of the season.
Happy shopping, and Happy Holidays!