December 5: The act of making
"Buy less, choose well, make it last."
We're in the midst of a season of consumption. Practically every piece of holiday marketing feels like it's prompting you to buy something.
Consumer culture can feel very overwhelming, and there isn't one simple answer to solving it all. But one thing that I personally believe is that we can all challenge the system in small ways. What if we all took a day, or a week, and instead of consuming something, made something instead?
This week marks Make SMTHNG Week, an international festival of making that's intended to challenge consumer culture. An initiative launched by Greenpeace and Fashion Revolution, Make SMTHNG Week is encouraging people to cook something, sew something, cut something, sculpt something, write something... you get the idea.
I love this challenge. As an author and an artist, a lot of my work involves selling things. There's really no way of getting around that; I pay rent and buy my groceries thanks to an incredible community of people who buy my work. But truth be told, this time of year it feels exhausting to keep finding original ways to say "buy my stuff."
That's actually why I decided to do this advent calendar: I wanted to create, to give something to people simply because it felt good to do so. And I can tell you that the self-imposed deadline has meant that when I carve out the time to write, I get a little moment to slow down, to create, to make something, and then eventually, to share it. That feels wonderful.
Very few - if any - of us would be able to cut out consumption entirely. But we can consume more consciously, and part of that consciousness is to bring back a little making. Not only is that good for our creative juices, but it's good for the community around us.
So I encourage you to use this week to make something. What you make is up to you
Cook a meal.
Make a wreath.
Upcycle something old into something new.
Mend a pair of pants.
Write a poem.
Bake a batch of cookies.
I've got a few "making" related advent calendar posts planned for the coming weeks too, and if making something today isn't in the cards, think of how you might share something instead. Create a moment with someone else.
Choose creativity, community and sharing. We could all use more of that this season.
Are you enjoying this calendar? Feel free to pass it along to a friend!