Seems like there are two types of people during the holidays: those who absolutely LIVE for this time of year. They have a billion traditions, endless cheer, all YAY CELEBRATE every day until The! Big! Day! Then, there are the rest, stressed out, sick, spread too thin, pressured maintain a base level of joy to avoid being labeled a grinch and a fun-sucker. Because how could anyone not love the holidays?! When lots of people can and do for all sorts of rational reasons. Not to mention the mass consumerism which can be overpowering.
Normally, I find myself in the latter camp, but I decided way back in the heat of summer that I would make this year different. Because I knew this holiday season would be hard, this is the first holiday without my dad. What I didn’t factor in was the election and its resulting effects also definitely not helping. For me as much as for the world, I need to contribute something meaningful and in service of others. And to acknowledge the strain the holidays can be, without raining on anyone’s parade.
This led me to one of the things I often find irritating about the holidays and that is the wrapping of gifts, both in the making of, and the materials themselves. Gift wrapping is so often a rushed obligation, fodder for the garbage can, and the literal last thing on the to-do list. Ugh. Who has the time and energy at that point?
And the most exasperating is that most commercial gift wrap isn’t recyclable!!! True story! The coating that’s usually on the paper is made from a type of plastic or has glitter or holographic inclusions, or other treatments which look fancy but also are a drain on resources. Compound that on a national scale and…yikes.
So, I designed a line of FSC Certified and fully recyclable gift wrap and will be using it to package items purchased from other local businesses at two holiday events in Chicago. Sitting with people, having a chat and simply being present (puns always intended) with them while we do something nice for their loved ones. Because the very best holiday offering I can think of is a calm and kind moment of pause, one that helps both the shopper and gives to a charitable cause.
And! Here’s the next best part! 25% of sales will be given to Chicago’s Little Village Environmental Justice Organization. I picked this non-profit because they are small and hyper-local, and have been fighting pollution and increased environmental protections for over 20 years. Seems fitting because they’re exactly the type of institution that will be fighting for government assistance in the coming years and supporting them helps offset the other aspects of this project that I can’t give back such as the carbon footprint created in sourcing and shipping the various materials.
If you ARE in Chicago, it would be an honor and a pleasure to see you at either (or both?) events below, say hello, and wrap gifts for you. If you AREN’T in Chicago sign up for my newsletter to be alerted when it goes up for sale online next week.
Winterfest Handmade Pop-Up Market
Saturday, December 10th / 12 – 6 PM
The Shapiro Ballroom
1612 W Chicago Ave
Sunday December 11th / 10-5pm
401 N. Morgan St.
Tickets ($10) available here.
Wishing you all the best of everything this season, friends. Whatever that means to you, or whatever you need for yourself, here’s to finding it. Take care of yourselves out there. <3
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