Updated: Aug 29, 2019
Preparations for Christmas are now in full swing and this means of course finding the perfect gifts for loved ones, friends and family members. It is one of the things that puts me in the spirit of Christmas – giving something truly special to someone I care about.
Christmas has undeniably become more commercialised in the past decades and this means that large retailers everywhere compete for your attention with glamorous marketing campaigns and irresistible offers. Who can resist getting that free item when they buy two more – even if they may not need it.
I used to do this myself because it seemed like ‘a good deal’. Something that is difficult to accept and it has certainly been a process for me, is that the ‘good’ deals on the large retailers’ shop floor come at a price – and it isn’t the consumer, who has to pay it. Unethical practices and bad working conditions for those who make items for large retailers are just one part of the story.
But what happens when we buy things just because they seem to be ‘a good deal’ is that we end up consuming more. We may choose gifts because of their novelty value or because we can buy more gifts for the same person. But are they really as special as the person we are buying them for?
According to this article in The Independent from December 2017
‘Nearly half of Brits admit a thoughtless panic-buying approach to picking up gifts for loved ones at Christmas, research has found.
A study of 2,000 adults revealed just one in five will plan exactly what they are going to buy for Christmas this year, with many buying the first thing they see just to 'get it done'.
This is hardly the Christmas Spirit we are all looking forward to! How can we escape from that throwaway culture mentality we have been conditioned into.
Independent designer makers and indie businesses produce beautiful items and keep their prices fair. Purchasing something unique from a small creative business demonstrates care for the person, who the present is for. Yes – you may be paying a little more but the value of the present goes beyond this. Focusing on quality rather than quantity is key. It makes that special someone feel truly special and it makes the person, who created the item feel like they have done their job well. Designer makers put their heart and soul into the items they make and it means the world when someone appreciates the time and effort spent to produce that special gift.
Shopping at your local crafts market is also great from an ecological point of view. Having products created locally means a lot less transportation and therefore less fuel emissions.
So in conclusion – shopping small this Christmas means buying less but buying better. It is a more ethical and eco friendly way of shopping and it promises happiness all around. From feeling good about buying something designed and made with love to showing that person that they are worth that special gift.
And who said we couldn’t treat ourselves to something special too? 😊
Have a wonderful Christmas and as always – keep sailing forward!