It’s that time of year when the obligatory gift shopping begins. I refuse to get sucked into the commercial frenzy. You can, too.
I don’t like malls. I don’t like the physical spaces, the echoey cacophony and the hard surfaces. I don’t like the strained marketing the stores use to get people to buy stuff they don’t need. That said, in all honesty, I do go to the mall. That’s where the Apple store is and where I buy Clinique. But it’s not where I shop for gifts.
I also don’t like most gift cards. Gift cards are the equivalent of giving cash, which destroys the spirit of a gift – the surprise and pleasure of getting something you didn’t ask for and never knew you needed until you opened the package. Gift cards don’t have to feel like extortion, though. My oldest son will get one -there’s no way I can select clothes for him, so the card will be for an unexpected shopping trip to a store in the city.
I like getting books that I’d never have thought to read if it weren’t for them being given to me as a gifts. I like giving books, too. I’m lucky to have indie bookstores nearby, but I also shop online, especially for used books – that’s where I’ve found those old chicken keeping texts that I tell you about. (By the way, for you horse people out there, check out my friend, Robin’s, used equestrian horse books.)
What I really enjoy are unique handmade items. I’ve found some wonderful crafts, and made some even more valuable friendships, through a combination of this blog and an online community of artists. Celia Hart is a printmaker and is now also collaborating with a jeweler. Jenny Tiffany makes the most adorable stuffed animals with personalities that are so quirky. Brandy Goodwin is a soap artist. I know that there are many, many more worth a comment. If you are an artist or crafter and have products available online, this is your chance to toot your own horn. Tell us what you do and leave a link in the comments.
(And in a bit of shameless self-promotion, I do hope you’ll think about giving something from Little Pond Farm to your loved ones. Tillie Lays an Egg is the perfect gift for a little one, or an adult who collects all things chicken. There’s also the Goat Notes, the ringtones, and bumper stickers. The bumper sticker image can be put on any product at that store. Just ask! Links for all of these are on my HenCam homepage. Or, simply tell a friend about my site. Your gift to me are more readers!)
I’m looking forward to reading your comments and seeing your art!