It seems like just yesterday I was getting ready for the 4th of July, and now August is just a couple days away! One of the reasons this month always flies by for me, aside from it being one of my favorite months of the year, is that it is jam packed with friend’s and family member’s birthdays. There always seems to be one right after another, which translates into a lot of calendaring, card sending, gift giving, a little bit of stress, and a lot of fun!
Since I’ve had my party hat on all month, I’d like to wrap up July with a birthday inspired blog post with all the green party favors and necessities I can muster up.
The first, and I believe most important part of birthdays is remembering your friend, family member, or loved one with a special card. What better way to go green, and save money, than to make your own! Throughout my almost 27 years, I have accrued quite a collection of cards. My very favorites are always those that were hand-made. Even though they might not always look as great, or hold up as well, they never cease to warm my heart just knowing that someone took the time to make me something for me. One of my mentors told me that the most precious resource is time because it’s the one thing we can never get or give back. So, when someone spends some time on you or with you, I believe it’s better than anything money can buy.
If you’re like me and you enjoy doing crafty things, making cards is also a lot of fun!
So I encourage you to get out the glitter, glue, and smelly markers if you have them, and go crazy! Your recipient will love whatever you create, no matter how it turns out! Even if you’re not the best at crafty ventures, just remember it’s the thought that counts.
Planning a party for yourself or someone special you know? Well, you’ll need to start with invitations. I guess my generation, and most likely all others that have jumped on the Facebook bandwagon, just defaults to sending out a Facebook invitation. They’re quick and easy, however, they lack that special personal touch. Sure they’re perfect for many occasions, but when an event is extra special, that route might not be the most appropriate. While it’s a great way to save some trees, there’s also many sites where you can create fun, funky, or beautiful invitations for free or for next to nothing. If you’ve got some time, you can also make invitations, using recycled paper, magazines, or newspapers. Have some fun with it! Send your girlfriend an invitation with a magazine pic of her favorite celebrity. She’ll love that, and who doesn’t like receiving something in the mail other than bills?
Giving someone a gift for his/her birthday? I love shopping online at GlobalGirlfriend.com, and would like to start doing it much more. If you’re purchasing a gift for a lady of any age, they have beautiful and unique jewelry, clothes, and accessories that are all handmade in Africa by local women who receive fair wages and good working conditions. These items make great gifts because you and the recipient can feel good about where they come from, and you’ll be helping to support talented female artists in Africa.
Another option is to make something. This is just like the card making: fun, inexpensive, and thoughtful. I’ve painted a few things for my parents over the years and I always have a great time doing it. Plus these gifts are always a hit.
When it comes to homemade gift giving, I say use whatever unique talents you’ve got! If you’re a baker, bake a delicious treat. If you’re crafty, make them something special that’s also a fun venture for you. If you’re not a wizard in the kitchen or a Martha Stewart with crafts, and excellent option is a gift that keeps on giving, such as adopting an endangered animal in someone’s honor. Last Christmas, my Grandma gave all of us grandkids a card informing us that she had purchased an animal to help sustain an impoverished village in our honor, and I was so happy to receive it!
When it comes to birthdays, the most important part is to let your loved ones know that you care and appreciate them, and this can be done with little or no money, and little to no negative impact on our environment. Have fun celebrating, and please let me know what your birthday ideas are!