I have a curious mind and enjoy watching what happens daily as our world turns. Right now I am trying to pick up the trends for this years holiday shopping. While you can listen to the news that the economy is improving and the recession is over, I look at the lack of advertising "excitement", the emptiness in the stores, and the financial situation of both myself and those directly around me.
While there is quite a buzz online with patterns and tutorials for the most adorable crafts and gifts, the stores in my area are quietly filling spaces with red and green decorations. The toy aisles are not expanding but the shelves are full. And they seem full of the same toys that have been the standard for years.
Have we (the frugal/environmental/broke) finally spoken loud enough for Big Business (Retail edition) to hear? Will the lines at JoAnn's fabric cutting counter be longer this season? Will we spend our lunchtime with a sandwich and a skein of yarn?
When Crunchy Chicken posted her Buy Hand Made for the Holiday Challenge, I signed up, envisioning a stack of handmade goodies waiting to be delivered. (By this time last year, I had knitted quite a few hats.) Now, after looking around at the economic situation I decided to alter the guidelines (just a little) to include things like grocery store gift cards and movie passes, which will be appreciated while adding very little plastic waste to the environment. Especially when packaged in a hand-sewn reusable gift bag accompanied by a jar of homemade Peach Banana Jam. :)
In the meantime, I'll keep one ear on the business news reports while I drive past the half-full retail parking lots. How many people have their arms full of shoping bags in the mall near you?
I highly recommend giving the holiday challenge a try. Let's have a happy and sane season. Hmmm, will I still say that around 10:30 on Dec 24th, trying to get the last project completed? :)