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Sure-fire way to stop rampant consumerism

An experiment with one family

Dad suggested we give up on gift-giving...mostly.
Dad suggested we give up on gift-giving...mostly.

Dear Hipster: Fair warning, this is not a question. I just want to share with you a holiday tradition, followed by my family, because I think it will appeal to your hipster values. It all started with my dad, who, after raising a handful of kids to adulthood, one year got fed up with the convention of holiday gift-giving. After many years of braving the holiday shopping scene, Dad suggested we give up on gift-giving...mostly. Instead of doing the endless shopping bit, my family does a yearly drawing. You get one name, and you must make (not buy!) one gift. I think this approach to gift-giving has a lot of advantages, many of which you will appreciate from a hipster perspective.

First, it takes the whole “rampant consumerism” aspect right out of the holidays. When the idea is to get creative with some raw materials, nobody has to run off to Target at the 11th hour trying to find the right tchotchke for that one family member who is notoriously hard to shop for. I know that raging against the consumer industrial complex is par for the hipster course, so you should approve of this.

Second, it encourages the participants to acquire a new skill. Woodworking, metalworking, macramé, whatever. It doesn’t matter. At least half the fun is learning how to do something new once a year. I have heard that handiwork, and the practical application of creative ingenuity are both highly valued in hipster society; so this should naturally meet with your approval as well.

Third, it brings the average holiday stress level down from its traditionally atmospheric elevation to somewhere just north of normal. I don’t know that this is a per se hipster value, but nobody likes stress. Having to worry about exactly one thing is pretty sweet.

While this started off as an experiment with my family, it quickly became tradition, and a beloved one at that! I realize that there are definitely groups of people out there for whom this would sap the fun from the holidays. But, there are also a lot of people who complain about how stressful and unenjoyable this season can be. For them, maybe this would be fun. And so, I share it with you, in the hopes that you might share it with others.

— One Crafty Craftsman

Dear Craftsman: I totes approve. Very hipster. Thank you for sharing.

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Dad suggested we give up on gift-giving...mostly.
Dad suggested we give up on gift-giving...mostly.

Dear Hipster: Fair warning, this is not a question. I just want to share with you a holiday tradition, followed by my family, because I think it will appeal to your hipster values. It all started with my dad, who, after raising a handful of kids to adulthood, one year got fed up with the convention of holiday gift-giving. After many years of braving the holiday shopping scene, Dad suggested we give up on gift-giving...mostly. Instead of doing the endless shopping bit, my family does a yearly drawing. You get one name, and you must make (not buy!) one gift. I think this approach to gift-giving has a lot of advantages, many of which you will appreciate from a hipster perspective.

First, it takes the whole “rampant consumerism” aspect right out of the holidays. When the idea is to get creative with some raw materials, nobody has to run off to Target at the 11th hour trying to find the right tchotchke for that one family member who is notoriously hard to shop for. I know that raging against the consumer industrial complex is par for the hipster course, so you should approve of this.

Second, it encourages the participants to acquire a new skill. Woodworking, metalworking, macramé, whatever. It doesn’t matter. At least half the fun is learning how to do something new once a year. I have heard that handiwork, and the practical application of creative ingenuity are both highly valued in hipster society; so this should naturally meet with your approval as well.

Third, it brings the average holiday stress level down from its traditionally atmospheric elevation to somewhere just north of normal. I don’t know that this is a per se hipster value, but nobody likes stress. Having to worry about exactly one thing is pretty sweet.

While this started off as an experiment with my family, it quickly became tradition, and a beloved one at that! I realize that there are definitely groups of people out there for whom this would sap the fun from the holidays. But, there are also a lot of people who complain about how stressful and unenjoyable this season can be. For them, maybe this would be fun. And so, I share it with you, in the hopes that you might share it with others.

— One Crafty Craftsman

Dear Craftsman: I totes approve. Very hipster. Thank you for sharing.

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