Over the past week I have gotten the same question over and over again. Is accepting gifts within the realm of my rules? The first time I was asked this it legitimately threw me off guard. Given my lackluster enthusiasm for birthdays I have no expectations in the way of gifts, so this wasn’t something I initially considered.
First I thought about my reasons for doing this. Lowering my impact on the environment, supporting local businesses, producing less waste, etc. So on one hand accepting gifts has the potential to be counterproductive. Then I thought about the nature of gifts. I don’t mean the gifts that are given out of obligation. I mean gifts from family and true friends. These types of gifts are meant to be tokens of love and affection. It would be rude to not accept gifts from these groups, right? Someone suggested I ask people, during traditional gift-giving times, to keep my rules by giving me only 2nd hand items. I thought about this for a while, but ultimately that also feels wrong.
So, I’ve determined that yes, I can accept gifts. However the use of those gifts must fall within the rules. If someone gives me something functional, I can use it right away. If gift cards are received, their use must fit the rules. IE – a gift card to Sephora, Ulta, Lush, etc can be used as long as the products I’m purchasing are cruelty free and it’s one of my quarterly-allotted shopping times. Gift cards to clothing stores, book stores, etc. must wait to be used until the end of my challenge. I feel like this was a fair way to resolve this; it stays true to my goals without causing insult/injury to the people I love.
Of course some of those people have chosen to honor my challenge through their gifts, which is how I ended up with this amazing cupcake cookie jar, purchased from a local thrift store.