At this time of year I sit down one Sunday afternoon and write out my Christmas cards. After wishing my entire list a ‘Happy Christmas’ my thoughts turn to how exactly one can ensure one – it’s not an easy task. I think those of us who have overseen a good few holiday seasons have long since realised that it’s not the commercial side of the festivities make us feel good. Every year we generate an estimated three million tons of waste and competitive gift giving always makes us unhappy!
In last year’s Christmas issue (issue 31) we looked at the joys of a handmade Christmas and those ideas are just as relevant now. In the age of austerity homemade gifts are still an excellent idea. This issue’s project, Liberty print bags, doubles as both present and wrapping, pg 13 and all our previous ideas can still be downloaded from the Selvedge website for free. Of course, we will be buying at least some of our gifts, but we can still look to designers such as Christina Kim, pg 22, who try to embrace moderation and retain meaning in the collections they create. Christina tries to show the experience, the time, skill and history that goes into her products.
And it is the word, “experience’, which is guiding our thoughts this year. If we accept the idea that chasing material goods won’t make us happy then we are left with knowledge that spending time with friends and family will. Our strongest and fondest memories are often of the outings and events enjoyed during Christmases past. If you are in town with a friend, take a break from shopping to see an exhibition together, perhaps the Ballet Russe costumes on show at the V&A, pg 58 or book tickets to a pantomime, pg 52, a puppet show, pg 64 or even a Winter circus, pg 46. Planned in advance they achieve the triple pleasure of anticipation, experience and memory. But you don’t have to travel far for a shared experience, perhaps this is the year to revive traditional home entertainments?
We are not seriously suggesting that Paper Theatres, pg 56 will be able to distract the children from their computers but apparently grown ups can be absorbed for hours...Our issue theme also sparked an office discussion, we tried to decide if the gift of a subscription pg 83, was an object or an experience? It is, in most cases, paper bound and tangible but at the same time we hope Selvedge is more than that – a beautiful thing but also a positive experience. We believe our readers have created a community.
Polly Leonard, Founder & Editor of Selvedge Magazine
Extract from issue 37 Dress Circle. Get 50% off during our back issue sale when you buy 2 or more issues. To redeem offer, please use code JANUARY at checkout. Shop the Selvedge archive here.