We're nixing electronics, supporting local Mom and Pop stores, and buying handmade items from websites like Etsy. It's not a new concept, by any means, but it's new-to-us.
My kids have not taken the news very well.
This year, The Girl asked for a laptop or a new tablet. The Ginger had his sights set on a Nintendo 3DS. Hubby and I were leaning more toward a desktop computer as a joint gift for the kids. Then we started researching.
Laptops start at $150, but average $250 or more. Tablets start under $100, but we've done that before with The Girl. The thing broke in less than a year. Nintendo 3DS systems start at $150 and go up from there. And decent desktop computers start at $300. And what would I have if we headed in this direction??
Extremely plugged-in kids. Y'all know I can't stand that shit. I devoted an entire chapter in my book to how I hate plugged-in kids.
So Hubby and I discussed it, and we're boycotting electronics this year. We decided to go one step further by shopping at locally owned stores, and filling our online shopping carts with handmade items from people who are trying to make a living selling their creations.
Bold move, especially with older kids who will see their friends with the latest technological craze this holiday season, but it feels right.
So far, our online window shopping has proven to be quite successful. Y'all know I sell my creations on Etsy, so I'm a huge supporter of the site. What I seemed to have underestimated was the creative genius of
the thousands of other people who sell on Etsy, as well. I decided to run searches for extremely random interests of my kids, including "Twilight," "Gummy Bears" and "Pretty Little Liars" for The Girl, and "Assassin's Creed," "Link and Zelda" and "Nightwing" for The Ginger, and every single search term I entered resulted in some kick ass items.
I suddenly got even more excited for Christmas than I normally am.
Instead of purchasing the new "Assassin's Creed" video game for my son to play, we now have the option of buying him "Assassin's Creed" art prints for his wall, or actual toy props for him to play with. Instead of loading The Girl up with a boxed collection of the "Twilight" movies, we can get her a luminary made from the "Twilight" book covers for her room.
This stuff is awesome!
|Courtesy of Crust Station|
What's even better is the fact that for the $150 we'd be spending on an electronic device, we can get between 3 and 6 handmade items for each kid.
What's even better than that is how those 3-6 handmade items are more than likely being sold by someone just like me, who sits around crafting all day, who will jump for joy at what that $30 or $50 can do to help out their Christmas for their kids.
To be honest, my enthusiasm can only take me so far. I have no idea how this will go over on Christmas morning. I know that we gave our kids a heads up that there will be no electronics, but I'm sure once Christmas morning comes, and they've unwrapped not a single electronic device or accessory, some disappointment might set in.
But we are forging ahead as planned. Treading on thin ice, but I think it'll be worth it.
Fingers crossed, at least. Not to sound like a tree-hugging hippie or anything, but I do ask that each of you who have read this try and do something similar this year for the holidays. If you've never checked out Etsy, give it a try. Enter in any search term you want, and I'm sure it'll yield something cool (and don't forget that I sell awesome things there, too, so check me out while you're searching). You'll be helping out smaller businesses, putting money into their pockets for things like Christmas, rent, electric, even food, instead of putting money into the already-deep pockets of places like Wal-Mart. They don't need more money. The single mom who is trying to earn some extra money by selling her handmade purses- she needs the money. And run a search for local Mom and Pop stores in your area that sell items you might want. Money spent on their items goes much further, too.
And please keep your fingers crossed for me that this goes well this year. I'd like to start a tradition in my house, not be revolted against. That would suck on Christmas morning.