Make Something Day is almost upon us and has stirred quite a bit of discussion. I love Julie Clawson’s post on the pros and cons of a day like this. It really made me sit up and think about why I am participating in this. I agree with her that people often make things that are useless and that in no way subverts the global economy.
What I have discovered this year however is that focusing on Make Something Day has made me think a lot more about the people that I am planning to give presents to. And in the process I find myself reminiscing about times we have spent together, reminding myself of how special they are and praying for them as well. It certainly beats that frenzy of buying at the last minute or on Black Friday which has sometimes characterized our Christmases in the past. Tom is planning to refurbish a desk he has had since he was a child for our god child. I am making a knitted purse for his sister Catie and hopefully will get that Lavender Lotion made that I am wanting to try for my garden chafed hands in the spring. Tom already has the Aran sweater I knitted him – I just couldn’t wait until Christmas. And I know that I will feel good everytime he wears it.
For me Make Something Day is more than a stand against the consumer culture. It is about adding meaning to gift giving.
I personally love to receive home made items and always feel that they carry something of a person’s identity with them – maybe a little deposit of their soul. I find that when something has been made especially for me then I don’t want to throw it out. I wear it until it is rags. I think that one of the motivating forces for our consumer culture is the disconnect between the consumer and the person who produced what they are consuming. When we have relationship with the person who produced our goods our whole attitude changes. They are no longer goods to consumer but a small part of the person who made them.
On Sunday (the first Sunday of Advent) we will be decorating our Christmas tree and I particularly love to hang the home made ornaments. Some of them are those same cutsie craft articles that at other times I would despise but there is something special about ornaments that I pull out every year and hang on the tree, especially as some of the people that made them are now dead.