Monday, 9 December 2013

Share Advent: The Joy Is In The Giving

I’ll be honest, and say that one of the things I don’t like about Christmas is the presents.

There are a couple of reasons why, but to me, a gift is something that you give to someone because you think that they would enjoy receiving it. I was incredibly touched earlier this year when a friend – someone I didn’t know particularly well at that point – bought me a book of short stories. She had seen it in a shop window, remembered a conversation we’d had about the author, and thought I might like it. I don’t really feel that the same thought and sentiment always applies to Christmas gifts.

This year, in an attempt to avoid spending lots of money on gifts that people don’t really want or need, we’ve been thinking a little differently about gifting. I am intending to make lots of my presents - crocheting, decoupaging and chocolating are all on the to do list. I’ll blog some of these when they’re finished (which may well be Boxing Day, considering my current rate of productivity and my crafting abilities. I refer you to the Pom Pom Wreath…). My motto this year has been:

“If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” 
(William Morris)

After a discussion with a colleague about my desire to find unusual but thoughtful gifts for people on a tight budget, and how my local charity shops had let me down this year, she suggested having a look at our local car boot sale to see what vintage delights we could find. 

The downside of car booting is that if you see something you like, you have to buy it there and then or risk it going (hence the doubling up on the Picqot ware and Meakin), but we had a rough idea of what we were looking for, so we didn’t go overboard. We also agreed that we’d only buy things that we could keep for birthday gifts, or re-sell on eBay. 

I'm really excited about some of these items. Some of them were bargains and in beautiful condition and some are just for fun, but each was bought with someone in mind. To me, that's more fun to give than any special offer toiletries set.

We bought:

Two metallic soda syphons, £1 each:

A Meakin "Aztec" pattern coffee pot, £4:

A Picquot coffee pot and lidded sugar bowl, £20:

A Picquot tea pot, £4:

 An Edwardian glass decanter and pewter label, £8:

A 1964 Meakin "Eden" pattern coffee set with six cups and saucers, £10:

A wood mounted barometer and mirror, £3:

Total spends: £51


  1. Oh this is a really nice idea. In my family we do secret santa and then me and M buy each other something. I almost always get him books, last year he got me perfume as I had run out (useful and beautiful) and a book. Books are the things we like to give and receive!

  2. I love this idea. You're lucky I wasn't there, you would have had a battle on your hands for the Aztec teapot :-)

  3. That is one seriously impressive car boot haul!! Love the decanter!

  4. I love the gifts! Not in a horrible greedy way, but in that I find joy in both giving and receiving presents that are thoughtful and picked with someone special in mind. I tend to be constantly gift shopping, as I'll pick up that perfect book / spatula / teapot when I see it in March, and just wait for the next birthday or Christmas to come along. It makes it less stressful and much more joyful. I also do quite a lot of making at Christmas time and love spending time making things for the people I love. Sorry if this sounds really cheesy, I just think that gifts in themselves are not a bad thing, it's the crazy commercialism that is!