Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Spend time, not money

A few weeks ago (barely the beginning of October) a lady phoned into 702 radio to say that she'd been to a shop in a mall and that she'd see Christmas decorations up. Last week another phoned in to say that he'd seen Christmas decorations up in stores. And on Saturday night I had dinner with some friends and lo-and-behold, the one had a tray of fruit mince pies, in their Christmas themed packaging. We are not even into November!

With every passing year I have increasingly felt that I no longer want Christmas nor birthday gifts. Sure, I love receiving presents as much as anyone else, but I have what I need in terms of tangible goods and I don't want any more. I love books too but I'm not making much of a dent on the pile next to my bed so I really don't need any for a while.

I also don't want my friends or family to walk the passages of the mall looking for something for me because gift-giving is the socially acceptable thing to do. They end up spending money that doesn't need to be spent.

The things I do want are way too pricey and specialist to expect even my closest relatives (new bike, fancy tent etc etc) to give me so these are items I'll work up to buying for myself.

I'll tell you what I want instead of gifts....

Friends and family, you can invite me to brunch, tea, lunch or dinner at your place - and I'll even bring a cake, salad or dessert. This has been a crazy year and I've done much less visiting than I would have liked to. Those hours you would have spent at the shops... I'd rather spend them with you. I also haven't organised a tea in many years... I'd like to invite you over when I plan one.

Tim, you aren't completely off the hook... Over the festive period, let's do two days away with our bikes and trail shoes. No roughing it... I want puffy duvets, 5 nozzle massage shower and scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast.

My parents... Dad, I'll keep my usual trade - I'll make tea or lunch in exchange for your handyman skills (handle on the bathroom cupboard etc). Mom... we can go 50/50 on a guillotine for my home office.

If any of you are deperate to spend money, you can do a transfer to They're a wildlife rehabilitation organisation, based in Fourways. They took Tammy, my tortoise, after Tortle, my old tortoise, crossed over. Tammy was rehabilitated and released in a protected area. They do wonderful work in rescuing "orphaned, abandoned, injured and displaced indigenous birds, mammals and reptiles".

Alternatively check out They promote environmental awareness to children and organise enviromental clean-up projects. Lots of litter picking-up, which is something I feel strongly about. They are looking at some great projects in many of the Joburg (and Pretoria) areas that we use i.e. Delta, Braamfontein Spruit, Moreletta Spruit etc and I hope to get more involved with them in the coming months.

Bottomline is that I do like gifts but if I haven't asked for a pink polka-dot dress and bubble bath I'd rather not receive this present. There are so many other things to do with your time and money.

To everyone reading this Blog... I'd like to encourage you to boycott the malls and rather spend time, not money, on people you care about this December.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just read your latest Blog entry.

Thanks. You’ve inspired me to come up with a list of time gifts of my own.