Day 67: Surprise Gifts

We had originally thought that we wouldn’t have to tackle the issue of gifts until our birthdays which are in October. We were wrong.

To be fair, Rhyannon did already have her birthday, and she managed to come through with mainly loads of compostable flowers. Grant and I have been dropping hints to our families, encouraging them not to buy material goods for us. So far so good. My brother returned from Europe with candies (consumable) in a little tin (recyclable and reusable). But apparently it’s not our families that we have to worry about, it’s those surprise gifts.

Grant and I have recently been filming weddings. That’s right, we are now part-time wedding videographers, which is great and lots of fun; however, an unexpected part of this profession is that people want to give you gifts. A card, a framed photo, and last week, keychains. Not just any keychains, one was a brand name, ridiculously expensive keychain (we know because we looked it up on the internet after even our unstylish selves realized quality when we saw it).

It’s an awkward situation. We don’t tell our clients about being waste free (why would we), so we don’t want to reject a gift given in good faith. The result of this is that we have a little more stuff in our house. High quality, attractive, long-lasting stuff mind you, but still stuff.

Our method at this point is just to accept gifts and use them as much as we can. After all, we can only control ourselves and we are doing our best to give waste-free gifts.

So far we have gifted:

-15 pounds of peaches and apricots (for canning) and a yoga class

-homemade fingerpaint and salvaged paper

-homemade fabric bulk bag, homemade preserves, a doorstep delivery of organic veggies

One more kiddy birthday coming up this weekend, so I’ll have to get my creative hat out again. In the meantime Grant is in love with his new keychain (and had lost his previous one) and I’m using mine too, so maybe they were appropriate gifts after all, and we shouldn’t beat ourselves up about accepting them. . . .



Filed under gifts, slip ups

3 responses to “Day 67: Surprise Gifts

  1. Oh goodness, don’t beat yourself up about using these things. As you say, you can’t control what comes into your home. I’m having the same dilemma about Christmas.
    if people give you things as a gift, I think we need to get out of the mindset that we have to love and use them. If you don’t like it, then pass it on to someone else.
    My Mother and I disagree strongly on this one; she thinks I should hang on to things even if I hate them. But I’m afraid they now get re-gifted or passed to the charity shop.

    Enjoy what you do and let the rest go…………

  2. kate

    It’s true,- these are minor details. But, if we’re being picky I have to tell you the organic delivery included mushrooms on a styrofoam tray wrapped in plastic wrap. so does transferring the gift giving part to a third party excuse both of us from whatever waste it resulted in?

  3. Jen CleanBin

    Oh no! I can’t believe there was styrofoam in that order!! I always feel like organic delivery means direct from the farmer, but especially in areas with shorter growing seasons it definitely doesn’t. If you can’t find somewhere for the styrofoam, bring it home at christmas and I’ll recycle it.

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