Dec 18, 2006

Last Minute Christmas Gifts!

So I'm a big fan of the non-thing Christmas gift. Mostly because the things I give or get are usually ... wow, useless. So that's how my association w/ the Compact began, with last year's Kyoto Christmas (see below for those ideas). This year I'm recycling some of those gifts but trying not to be entirely predictable.

So here are some other gifts that I'm giving this year.
For the boss ladies: a block from our local dvd rental shop. So that's 20 or 25 rentals, I know they go there, they'll appreciate it.

For the extended Fam
(which is really really large): One cd of pics from my travels to the Middle East, including sites relevant to Christianity/Christmas. They'll dig it, even if it takes until next Christmas to pass the thing around to everyone.

For the folks
: Similar but also including some books I've picked up, and some ink for printing the pictures. I had the same printer as my dad and have a left over cartridge. Also including pix that I took at home w/ them before I set out for more extended travels.

But perhaps my favorite gift this year is the one for my sister and her new husband:
Damn I hope she doesn't read this. Ok, so they really really want a dog but they're not allowed to have one in their apartment. So they're very casually looking for a new apartment. I'm making a certificate that states that I'll pay the adoption fee for any rescue dog that they choose. I'll screen him for health and tempermant (I'm a dog care professional). To help them adjust, I'll come over every work day for 2 weeks to encourage potty training and provide exercise. And they get one free weekend of house sitting, though I hope to always be able to take care of their pooch.
NOTE: One should never ever give an actual dog, cat, pony as a gift unless the giver is prepared to lovingly care for said animal until he or she dies. Seriously. This gift is just an illustration of thinking about the gift's recipient, not wanting to give some piece of crap. It's not a suggestion that giving people animals is Compact friendly or a good idea.

I also think services make awesome gifts. Give your friends a free night of babysitting or an evening walk for their dog so they can go out. Haircuts and massages also rock, god knows I love them. Oh, and I'd love for someone to get me an online subscription to MidEast News if someone insists on spending, oh, $150 bucks on me for the year. Landfill free, baby!

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think it is terrific what you people are doing. I did a speech on recycling a few years back and it amazed me the stats on what we throw away each year in America. I too rarely buy anything new, I frequent the local thrift stores or garage sales and find many useful used items. Keep up the good work, Corporate America's fears of you are laughable.

Lima Bean said...

Excellent ideas! I especially love the dog care gift. The gift of your expertise and time is awesome.

I, too, am bugged by the crap that gets passed around at Christmas. One year there was a local 8-year-old who desparately needed a transplant. My husband and I decided that, rather than pushing the same old junk around, we would request a donation be made to this girl instead of gifts to us.

It was a great idea and we raised something like $1,200 that year. BUT, the fuss that our less than enlightened families made was incredible! "What? No gifts for the kids? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?" On and on. The battle was so bad that we didn't do it again.

So, on that note, I am glad to find some like minded folks who support my beliefs. This is my first post, but won't be my last!

Anonymous said...

You have really good ideas and I agree with the principle of what you are doing. My family has been reusing for many years. I guess we were cool before cool people knew it was cool. It is rare to find an item in my house that was purchased new.

I find one part of what the compact is doing to be disheartening. Many compact members do what you do in the nature of a game, a quest, and a challenge; then throw the money saved at special services or activities to indulge and reward themselves for the sacrifices made. There are many people like myself that live by the "compact rules" out of necessity rather than choice. The game attitude cheapens, and makes a joke out of the creativity we have had to employ to maintain our families. If your movement continues to grow, it will begin to rob us of things we can afford no other way. Many compactors appear to have plenty of money to buy what they want, so spending a few dollars more on the quest or “breaking the rules” to buy new is no big deal, but as the increased market demand drives prices up it moves these same things out of our reach and we can ill afford to “break the rules”. There will be short term benefits such as more interest in providing used items for sale and your compact exchange sites, but over time it will become more and more difficult for people like myself to compete with compactors for the items we need. You see, for us, compacting is not a game; it is how we live.

Maybe now you can add some compassion to compacting and put some of that extra money to use in a way more beneficial to the community, as a whole, than a weekend at the spa or an activity getaway. Thank you for listening.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

read about this group online. Alas, others who speak my language!
A previous poster mentioned how he felt " not so alone" after joining this group. I agree. It is difficult to get others to understand that this becomes a life style, not an amusing hobby. Others, one does not even engage in this type of conversation because noses curl up and its not worth the trouble. Time wasting. Many feel entitled to have the finer things, the most sought- after things and give not one moment's thought to the difference between " wants" and " needs"
When I glanced over the blog entries and read the word, bicycle, I KNEW I was in the right place.
The most amazing thing that I have noticed is that people do NOT connect that every time their vehicle moves, they are biting into their potential savings. It is like they feel entitled to drive everywhere, anytime they so choose. When gas hit close to 3 dollars a gallon, I changed my ways. A bicycle is now attached to the rear of my vehicle and I park in the center of town and unload my bike and do my errands using it. My gas savings per month often exceeds 60% of what I was using before. ( I live in a rural area just off an unsafe fast moving highway- so I have yet to ride the three miles INTO town) Riding a bike, has offered me the opportunity to view things I would have otherwise missed in a vehicle. I give the " illusion" of being physically fit and active. Anyone who might be pondering this change to a bicyle, night find wearing snazzy cycling apparel helpful. Go with the illusion- if it helps. Tight fitting shorts is all you really need. Grab anything that makes you look like a serious rider and you are home free. At first I overheard people remark that I probably " didnt have a car" Thats when I realized that I TRULY didnt care WHAT others thought. Yes- they were right- I didnt have a car for NON_SENSICAL unplanned touring. I DID have a car ( paid off) that was neccessary to tote the bike to town and back. As I added a few " PROPS" here and there, the comments changed to people thinking I was somehow a long distance, marathon group rider. They are going to think what they want. And while they are thinking. I am pocketing the savings! TOUCHEE! I think I am going to LOVE this blog. dav467@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

read about this group online. Alas, others who speak my language!
A previous poster mentioned how he felt " not so alone" after joining this group. I agree. It is difficult to get others to understand that this becomes a life style, not an amusing hobby. Others, one does not even engage in this type of conversation because noses curl up and its not worth the trouble. Time wasting. Many feel entitled to have the finer things, the most sought- after things and give not one moment's thought to the difference between " wants" and " needs"
When I glanced over the blog entries and read the word, bicycle, I KNEW I was in the right place.
The most amazing thing that I have noticed is that people do NOT connect that every time their vehicle moves, they are biting into their potential savings. It is like they feel entitled to drive everywhere, anytime they so choose. When gas hit close to 3 dollars a gallon, I changed my ways. A bicycle is now attached to the rear of my vehicle and I park in the center of town and unload my bike and do my errands using it. My gas savings per month often exceeds 60% of what I was using before. ( I live in a rural area just off an unsafe fast moving highway- so I have yet to ride the three miles INTO town) Riding a bike, has offered me the opportunity to view things I would have otherwise missed in a vehicle. I give the " illusion" of being physically fit and active. Anyone who might be pondering this change to a bicyle, night find wearing snazzy cycling apparel helpful. Go with the illusion- if it helps. Tight fitting shorts is all you really need. Grab anything that makes you look like a serious rider and you are home free. At first I overheard people remark that I probably " didnt have a car" Thats when I realized that I TRULY didnt care WHAT others thought. Yes- they were right- I didnt have a car for NON_SENSICAL unplanned touring. I DID have a car ( paid off) that was neccessary to tote the bike to town and back. As I added a few " PROPS" here and there, the comments changed to people thinking I was somehow a long distance, marathon group rider. They are going to think what they want. And while they are thinking. I am pocketing the savings! TOUCHEE! I think I am going to LOVE this blog. dav467@yahoo.com

dav467@yahoo.com said...

go to any local grocery store with a meat counter.
talk to a butcher or store manager- because this ismore of a specialty request.
have him sell you a FAT roll of white meat wrapping paper- anywhere from 12 to 15 dollars. Make sure its NOT SHINEY or waxed. This will last you as long as five or six years. Good for garage sale signs, HUGE OUTDOOR happy birthday greetings. ON the smaller side- you can decorate with magic marker and create your own personalized WRAPPING PAPER for all occasions.
Also excellent for small children to draw and color on. Good for scratch pads- and lists- just cut to size, staple the tops and VIOLA- good to go for YEARS. If you move- you have wrapping paper for the breakables. BEST INVESTMENT I ever made. Also you have school project paper on hand at all times. Good for shelf lining. dav467@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

what do you do with gifts that you receive? my family loves shopping
and they don't like it when I suggest we need to be conscious about it...what to do
please let me know

Anonymous said...

Good work, dearie! A few years ago I read a book about the languages of love for children. The main point was that people show love in different ways - some people love "gifts of service" - that's me! I think your "dog" gift is a wonderful idea. I turned 50 this year and am starting to download all the "stuff" accumulated by myself and family over the years, so my Christmas request from my daughters is that they each plan and cook dinner twice a month from now on, no leftovers, please. I can't wait! It has the additional benefit of having them learn to plan shop and cook meals. However, I will continue to buy them things...Albert Schweitzer said, "Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing." I figure they'll get the idea eventually.

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Anonymous said...

Hello, great site, I found a lot of useful information here, thanks a lot for Your work!
With the best regards!
David

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Anonymous said...

Hi dude!
Christmas Day falls on December 25. It is preceded by Christmas Eve on December 24, and in some countries is followed by Boxing Day on December 26. Some Eastern Orthodox Churches celebrate Christmas on January 7, which corresponds to December 25 on the Julian calendar. December 25 as a birthdate for Jesus is merely traditional, and is not thought to be his actual date of birth.Sincerely

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