The troubled art of gift giving… and one solution
Words by Jade
It’s mid-November, which means 2018 is nearly over and Christmas is right around the corner. For many people, my family included, a big part Christmas is gift giving. Although I love giving my family presents, I often find Christmas stressful for several reasons.
First of all, having to find everyone a present at the same time puts a lot of pressure on me mentally as well as financially. And secondly buying gifts often leads to a conflict with my values; I struggle with the environmental impact of contributing to consumerism by purchasing ‘stuff’ that no-one really needs, and shipping it to the other side of the planet.
So what to do? I still want to be involved in my family’s Christmas without compromising my values or breaking the bank….In previous years I’ve given homemade gifts, which always goes down well, but this year I’m trying something a little different. The idea came to me during a recent trip home.
On a night out with my family, I ordered my drink without a straw. After some discussion and jokes around the table, there was a split. Half of us wanted no straws to “save the turtles” and the other half wanted straws because they “made the drinks better”. So for Christmas 2018 I am giving my family re-usable straws so that they can all enjoy their drinks and still save the turtles.
For extra fun, I bought a pack of different coloured straws so they can double as drink markers and I’ve added a homemade tag to each straw depicting a different marine animal to remind my family of all the wonderful wildlife that will benefit from less plastic waste in our oceans.
I’ve recycled the funky wrapping from our Who Gives a Crap toilet rolls. A friend from home is visiting Sydney this weekend so if I get them all wrapped and ready by then she can take the gifts back home to my family, saving me the postage!
I guess the message I am trying to purvey here is to get creative with your skills, resources and ideas around gift giving. It could lower your environmental impact, lesson the strain on your wallet and you might just enjoy it a little bit more!
I’m hoping my family will appreciate this gift, I imagine them all sitting round the table on Christmas day with their different coloured straws in their drinks. I hope it plants a small seed about doing better for our planet that, with a bit of nurturing, will flourish in each of them.
What a lovely article, Jade; I love the unity of the whole project: how it came about, and your imaginative extension of the idea to include the ‘educational’ aspect of your lovely drawings.
And I didn’t know you could get coloured steel straws; such a good idea to mark the glasses in that way. Thankyou for writing!