I realized, soon into my Buy Nothing New pledge, that clothes alone was not going to cut it. Homewares, furniture, books… I started to wonder whether there was anything I couldn’t actually make or source second hand.
Then I started thinking about presents. The very idea of going to a shop to BUY a present for someone’s birthday or other celebration started to seem like a bit of a cop out. It’s not like we don’t all have enough STUFF already. And I like the idea that a gift should take a little more thought, time and effort than something shop-bought. (Which is not to say I don’t find some absolute gems in shops, that people would LOVE. I do. But still, the pledge.)
So, when Dad turned 60 recently, I called my sister and my two brothers. I asked them to think of 15 memories each, particular to them and Dad, and to send them to me each beginning with, “I remember when…”
I set about thinking of 15 of my own. Not the easiest of calls, to distill 33 years of childhood, teenage years, adulthood, lessons learned and wisdom imparted into 15 tiny examples. How to choose 15 moments from the most influential person in your life? I thought about it for weeks, and even now, a month later, I keep having flashes of recollection, other moments that could have been included in the list. It’s like I’ve opened the subconscious floodgates to my childhood self and her experiences.
I took the memories, and I typed them out, each with a different font to represent each of us. I rolled them into tiny scrolls and wrapped them with little raffia bows. These were popped into a glass jar, to be opened at random.
60 memories for 60 years.
Happy birthday, Dad. xxx