Saturday, November 15, 2008

Peace on Earth and Goodwill Towards Men

I can't quite believe that in just a few short weeks Advent will have begun! This year, I'm trying something I've never done before, which is doing the consumer part of Christmas before Advent begins. I've heard of people doing this and have always thought, "Wow. That must be wonderful to just truly focus on the gift of Jesus during Advent," but am always one of those people scrambling to get presents together at the last minute.

Ben and I have been thinking about Christmas presents. We want to give gifts that are meaningful, simple, and this year more than others, affordable. As in previous years, I think we're going to try to make some of our gifts (I've often found that these are the ones that are the most joyful to give). But we just don't have the time to do all handmade gifts for everyone. The other night Ben threw out the idea of buying all our gifts at goodwill. Some of our own most treasured clothing items, books, jewelry and household items were bought at thrift stores. Going to a thrift store with someone in mind but no particular thing in sight always feels like a treasure hunt, and I feel like most of the time you can find something really special that is affordable. It is the greenest present option, benefits people who are on the margins of society (especially at stores like goodwill and salvation army), and is one of the few ways that this year we'll be able to stay within our teeny budget.

This afternoon we might go on our first trip, and I'm excited about scouting out special things. I know that in the formal world of present giving re-gifting/ buying used things is totally taboo, but you know what? I hope that our friendships and relationships are real enough that those who we care about will receive their quirky, thrift store-y gifts and say, "I get it."

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