Here at Bloom we talk a lot about ideals. Handmade gifts, homemade bread. Upcycling and local consumption. Charming crafts and well-decked halls.
In reviewing our recent content, I got a little squirmy. “I feel like a bit of a fraud, like if these people actually came to my house, they would be surprised by how absolutely pedestrian I am,” I told my husband the other night.
I just wanted to tell you all that I bought Christmas presents from a store. A big-box store, called Toys-R-Us. And some of the toys were made of plastic. Because although a hand-hewn fort and quilted dress-ups may have been ideal -- getting the bulk of my Christmas shopping done in a morning, was real. And doable. And awesome.
I’ve made capes and costumes, pirate flags and cardboard shields, and I love the notion of homemade - I aspire to it when possible. But I also love the notion of knowing my limits, and knowing that my children will be over the moon about their gifts, and knowing that after a morning of shopping, I had the remainder of the holiday season to spend with them (rather than frantically working on gifts for them).
Sometimes I feel like the consumer pendulum has swung so far to the mindless side
(i.e. buy. buy. buy - everything but our souls shrink-wrapped with a barcode, convenience and excess ruling the day,) we’ve swung so far to that extreme that change is/was certainly in order. And I’d say it has come/is coming by degrees. But it seems to have hit certain circles of the blogosphere with gusto. And quite frankly, it’s starting to feel a little highfalutin and pious in the opposite extremity: “take the handmade pledge!” “plastic must perish!,” “be vintage or be vanished!”
Seems to me that as is the case with so many, many issues - we’ve missed the fertile middle-ground of mindful, moderate consumption.
I don’t intend to make this a political rant about the virtues of one brand of consumerism over another. I only want to let you know that although we parade handmade gifts and upcycled thrifted finds and share a grind-your-own-wheat bread recipe on occasion here at Bloom -- we recognize those things as ideals -- things we strive for and do as we can. But there are reality-constraints to consider - time, means, season of life - factors which may not allow us to be doing all of the “ideal” things. And all we can be is real.
And hopefully sane.
So we just want to say that while we spotlight ideals and aim for an evolution towards beautiful, purposeful living, we’re hoping to keep to the middle ground of reality here. And if you buy your bread on aisle eight and picked up several of your Christmas gifts from Toys-R-Us and bought your nightstand at IKEA -- you belong here.
And you’re in good company.