Giving it our all…

Two things happened today which set this blog in motion. The first was having the intense pleasure of viewing Frauke Stegmann’s extension to her ‘Rejected-Reconsidered’ porcelain collection; glass jars dripping with gold – the perfect combination of simple beauty and a houghtful approach to conserving and re-using our resources.

The second event was an uninspiring (utilitarian) trot ‘cross the shiny halls of Cavendish Mall during which I spotted a sign in a store window that read ‘Gift Giving Made Simple!’. It was for pre-packaged multi-product gift packs. Now I’m not going to apologise for being deliberately stupid, but I shall choose to miss the point. Since when was gift giving complicated? Rhetorical question. I’ll tell you when. It became complicated when we all got too much stuff and not enough time. Because then it not only became difficult to figure out what we should get someone that they didn’t already have, but it became an inconvenience to get whatever it was that we didn’t know what to get because frankly, we just don’t have the time to figure it out and then go looking for it. So thank god for pre-packaged multi-product gift packs. At this point I am doing ‘that thing’ that my nine year old daughter does that I hate so much; I’m making my thumb and forefinger into an L-shape and placing it vertically against my forehead whilst looking in a mirror. Except then it’s a backwards L…

I remember back, way back to my childhood, when pocket money was in short supply but gifts given were always special because they had so much thought put into them. And I’ve realised that gift giving should be complex. It should require rumination, consideration and enough time spent searching for (or making?) just the right thing so that when the gift is handed over, it has some of oneself inside the box or wrapping paper. So, I’ve thought, I’ve considered, (and yes, pocket money is in short supply). This year, not only will my gifts have a bit of me inside them, but I’ve smugly found a way (I know it’s a split infinitive, sometimes nothing else will do) to make the process relatively simple without being sucked in to the overwhelmingly addictive commercialisation of the festive season. And it goes like this… If you’re too old to believe in Santa Claus, then you’re going to be planting a crop, digging a well, feeding a child, preserving a species, buying a cow/goat/pig or greening our planet in some way. I will do my best to make sure that each gift suits the recipient (loves animals, loves gardening, loves kids, loves food etc). I will give it with my love and a light heart. And if you’re very, very lucky, your humanity-friendly charity gift voucher might come in an exquisite Rejected-Reconsidered glass and gold jar. May you use them both and enjoy them equally.

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