Sunday, October 26, 2008

Thinking ahead....

It is a grey day today - cold and wet, and being here inside warm and cosy is the best place to be. I have been wandering the blog world today - meeting new people and discovering so many fascinating places. People are interesting, aren't they? All so unique.

My computer is needing a babysitter at the moment. It is supposed to be doing a full system scan, but every time I walk away to do something - like ironing (I love Egyptian cotton sheets - but OH the ironing.... I hate ironing) it stops, goes into a funk and says it can't do any more. I am sick to death of the big warning sign saying "you need to do a scan now", so here I am. I will keep writing until all 4,947,675,355,438,389,939 trillion files are scanned. We will see who wins this one. This may be a looooooooooong post.

11% done...

I started to talk a bit about the state of the economy and then deleted that. Not in a general sense, but in the more personal sense of how it is affecting people we know. People are really battling out there. And it seems awfully close to home. Whether you are an employer or an employee, things are really tough right now.

Here in the UK, a really mega shopping centre opened near here, right in the middle of the economic meltdown, and yesterday, a report on tv mentioned that over 2 million people had been through the doors. Then the reporter said - "but see if you can spot something unusual" and the cameras panned around the centre. Lots of people. But no-one was carrying any shopping bags. They were all there to look, but not to buy. This Christmas shopping season is going to be very different to those of recent years.

25% done....

Anyway - Christmas shopping. This year is going to be the year of imagination. I usually give quite a few gifts, and I will this year too. But they will be home-made. Just like they used to be years ago. Home-made biscuits (cookies), marinades, jams etc. Things I can make out of stuff I have in my sewing/craft room. Gift tokens for my time - like babysitting, soups, garden watering, seedlings. Things from my home to their home.

Once upon a time, long long ago, in a far and distant land........I made my favourite biscuits, packaged them in Christmassy cellophane bags with ribbons, and attached the ornament of the year which I had made - once it was little hearts, filled with pot pourri - and that was what I gave my friends. Perfect. I have no idea why that changed. It is about the thought, not the money, after all. Back to basics I go this year, and I am delighted to be doing that.

Our church is implementing another excellent idea. We have been asked to add a small gift voucher to our shopping lists, and through November, we will hand them to the vicar. He is going to give them to the people who are really struggling so that they can buy some extras for Christmas. What a pleasure.

It has crashed again...starting over....

Even better - get the kids making presents too. When mine were little we started on the home-made gift idea. I never wanted them to go out and spend money on presents for the adults in their lives or their siblings. They made their presents. I think my mother still has every single thing she received with delight. Calendars, necklaces, paintings, the lot. I have vivid memories of wearing enormous brooches made from Fimo, and macaroni necklaces, painted in primary colours, to church on Christmas day. And the beaming smiles of the little ones as they saw me wear their gifts. Come to think of it, they are still somewhere in a box....

I have given up on the scan. It crashed again. Tough. I am now going to make yet more coffee and go and read my book on the couch. And guess what? The sun is starting to shine!

Have a great Sunday, everyone.


Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Nothing better than a good old-fashioned Christmas where you know that someone was truly thinking of you. Birthdays have included a lot of homemade gifts and Christmas will be more of the same. Aprons anyone? :D

Those scans never work for me either.

Penless Thoughts said...

I agree with you about the home made gifts. You really give something of yourself that way, instead of just spending money for something off a shelf and probably made in China with child labor. What is Christmasy about that?

Susie said...

Hi Linds,
Maybe all those people wandering the malls are looking for inspiration to make some of their Christmas gifts.
We used to do a homemade gift for our gift exchange, but somehow got away from that. I still love the idea.
We're having another sunny, beautiful day here in CA. Sure doesn't feel like fall.
Enjoy your Sunday..

Diane@Diane's Place said...

It's sunny and cool here, a beautiful Fall day.

I believe you said your desktop computer is a Dell? And only a year old? Oy.....

Our Christmas will involve lots of homemade goodies and being together, not so much of the store bought items this year.

Hope your day has been enjoyable.

Love and hugs,


Crystal said...

You are echoing our thoughts for this Christmas too. We are giving our kids all some food for the freezers, as I know the cost of groceries is mounting by the day. And there are many smaller things that they need or I can make so that will decrease the spending. I think I need to seriously start tackling these projects or I am going to run out of time.

So glad to hear the sun has come out - and too bad about the computer scanning! Always something out of kilter with this technology stuff!!

Sandra said...

Christmas is DEFINITELY going to be different this year, there is no way we can spend as much money as the previous years.

There will be lots of homemade things.

Needled Mom said...

I love receiving home made gifts too. It is so much better than store bought.

Hope the scan goes better.

the voice of melody said...

Hi, I stumbled over here from A Chelsea Morning and I'm enjoying your writing very much.

I think homemade gifts are a great idea, especially in the tough economy we're in. I'm not big on gifts at all, but typically if I'm invited to a party, I tend to give baked goods as hostess gifts, such as brownies, cookies and all kinds of fudge, etc. I just put them in a pretty box or bag with a cute ribbon. If I had a lot of people to shop for at Christmas, I would probably do the same.

Many sweet blessings!

Jan said...

Hey Linds...popping in to check on you! I've been away for awhile, but I'm baaackkk! : ) Started a new blog and I hope you stop by soon to say hey!

Edith said...

I have always enjoyed making homemade gifts though I've gotten away from it over the last years. This year will likely be different.

Hope the swelling is going down in the knee.

Have a blessed day.

Dawn said...

I USED TO do so much baking and sewing and other fun things as you may recall from my series on that subject. I need to get back to such - I can't figure out how or when, though, with so many little fingers about!

Glad the sun came out. We tried to defrag my laptop while we were on vacation, and it didn't do wahtt we expected.

Desia said...

Hope you'll heal quickly from the infection, "ai tog."
We turn our clocks back next Saturday night, and I agree with you; I think daylight saving is...silly. We lived in Saskatchewan before and it is the only Canadian province that doesn't do the daylight saving thing.
I have not even thought of Christmas gifts and have not visited any malls lately, I will have to go now and check if it seems slower here too.

Mary said...

My children and I all agree that one of our best Christmas' ever was the time we decided to pull a name out of the hat and make that person a gift. The kids were really thoughtful. We then packed up the car with the tent and went camping. Christmas lunch consisted of one item per person of their favorite food. We had fried rice, BBQ chicken, strawberries with choc sauce to dip,mud cake and coke (I know that isn't exactly a food source but we let it in regardless - it was Christmas, after all!). We had a miniature 20cm tree on the table, drove the caravan crazy with carol singing and had a blast.

I still buck at th commercial aspect of Christmas. There was one year when I was determined not to do the credit card trap. I nearly made it. With about 1 hour to go before shops closed, I grabbed the card and went absolutely berserk around the shopping centre. Was still paying it off 12 months later. Live and learn.

This year I am craving a winter Christmas - summer just does not do it for me.

Boy that was a long comment - almost a post in itself ;)

DaniCody said...

This Christmas is going to be a back to basics one for sure! I used to made homemade spaghetti sauce and wrap it in a basket with pasta, homemade cookies, loaf of homemade bread....everyone loved having a homemade meal to bring home. I think I'm going to do something like that again.

Joyful Days said...

I love handmade gifts, both giving and receiving. My hands just aren't what they used to be though--struggling with arthritis-y issues. My cooking skills are not consistent. I'll have to be really creative this year.

This year has really flown!