Upon reading this post this afternoon, I thought about my arrival home.

Mum’s bought two new items since I’ve been at University…
One, is a kind of plug-holder for each of the sinks; which acts as a drain for the plug. It’s a little plastic mini-basin that sits on the wall with sticky-tape and keeps the plug… tidy?
Personally, I hang the plug over the tap… It drains just fine, I find; and doesn’t get in the way.

Secondly, she bought a plastic semi-circle with holes in it, for draining water from a saucepan…  Now; we have a sieve, and a colander, the saucepan lid and a serving spoon with holes in it.. why do we need something else?

“It was cheap.

“Yes, but that plastic will take centuries to biodegrade… YOU JUST KILLED A POLAR BEAR!!!”

Ahem. Okay, I’m back.
Does anyone have any tips or similar issues about the people they live with? I’ve tried to explain that the media makes us think we need things; I’ve explained the issue of plastic and I’m trying to teach by example: Each time we pass something in the shops; I say “well we don’t need it; we can do this instead, or make our own like this.”

My 20th birthday occurs in the summer and I’m trying to work out how to ask for non-material items [as it’s hard enough to get rid of over 300 fluffy toys, over 200 perfectly usable pencils [but who would buy them when new ones are 1p each?] and all the junk a teenager is supposed to need] from friends and relatives.

I’m thinking of writing an explicit letter that my mother can pass round to anyone who asks what to get me:
Something along the lines of, “please donate money to __charity x or y__ in my name, or give only book tokens or money [to go towards a meditation retreat in 2011]”.

And yet, I don’t know if she would honour that choice; because she has the above mindset. [Can I just point out that I love my mother; she’s a wonderful woman].

Has anyone had any experiences with this? I know there are some ways of getting around having to do this, as mentioned by Everyday Minimalist, but I don’t speak to my great-aunt or my mum’s old best friend, so can’t implement the tips that effectively.

We’d love it if you could share your tips and stories with us in the comments.


4 thoughts on “Gifts

    • That’s great. I don’t really like going out for meals so I’m hoping to go for a “book tokens, money or donate to charity” route. =)

  1. hehe i very much relate to this 😛 There are so many useless kitchen inventions in existence that just take up space and people NEVER use them!

    I tried to do what you did with asking for money etc for my birthday, the older generation just feel they have to get you something material, they have been brought up differently to us at the end of the day. I end up just giving most of it to charity so at least hopefully it has a purpose in helping people. Not gregoraaaay though, he is awesome and will stay with me always! 😛

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