I get both of these practices. I dislike consumerism and commercialism. It seems to take the life out of everything. Parents are made to feel like they can’t tell their children “sorry, you didn’t get (insert hot gift item here) this year because I refused to brawl with other parents for it.” We’ve forgotten that it’s the thought that counts. But the businesses that are involved with these products have to sell them so they can stay in business. It becomes a fight for survival.
On the other hand when people say “I’m not buying/giving gifts this year” I cringe also. This means they are not buying any pottery from me. So where I understand and even admire this boycott of the consumerism madness I also have that fight for survival. Holiday sales are the bulk of my income. As much as I like to say I’m an artist I also realize that I’m a retailer and I have to sell my product. It’s not romantic, but it is life.
So what is the balance to this conflict? I feel like it’s a matter of what you give. Anyone can pick up a stack of gift cards and hand them out to friends and family. If they are really being mindful it should take them a couple of minutes to decide which gift card would be best for which person. Good deal, 5 minutes, all your holiday shopping is finished, go celebrate the season, thanks for the thought.
When people come to pick out gifts from my pottery they usually take their time, they look at a piece from different angles, they touch, they hold, they imagine. They often comment about how much they would like this same piece for themselves. They may not realize at that time that they can go enjoy the piece while they are visiting with this friend or family member. They are giving something of value, something of worth and something of themselves even if it was not made by their hands. It is something that speaks to them. It shows caring, it should be why we give gifts.
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff