Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Holiday spending report: Heidi style

The chilling news this autumn is that while leaves were falling, so did our overall wealth, as a country, as an economy, and as individuals. I propose a wholly different approach to the economic melt-down, credit freeze, or whatever other temperature-driven euphemism you want to employ: instead of throwing our money anywhere, least of all into banks that want to horde it in vaults to rival Gringott's (read: with fists tighter than a vinegar shaker), let's walk away from the poor beleaguered consumer-driven economy altogether for a season. I'm not saying we should boycott the American way of life, but that we should be looking at value instead of price, especially as the holiday season approaches.

For my part, I'm inclined to give personal gifts over flashy ones anyway; this year, I'm giving gifts that simply can't be bought: ones that come from my family's time and talents. Who knows what you'll get: a knitted bag, a loaf of homemade bread, or a jar of custom-blended bath salts might show up on your doorstep this year. But rest assured, the message I'm sending is that we are each of value, you for the friendship and warmth you provide, and my family members for having the care and ability to craft something with meaning, not merely with cost.

I don't expect it will be trend-setting, but I am betting that it will be memorable. And that's what the holidays are really about, any old way.