Hellloooo…are you out there?? Yeah, you. You, with the lets-just-get-this-shopping-over-with itchy one-click finger. I think this might be for you.
Apologies for the Yuletide buzzkill, but I’m only writing this about the holidays because it’s almost December. It really could be dropped into July or March, but here we are again (and I needed a topic). Do I sound Grinchy? I just have to figure that if all of the posts about simplifying, giving experiences vs. things, organizing holiday decor, and stats on how many people return gifts every year (over 50%, in case you’re wondering) haven’t hit home by now, well…
I don’t disagree that sharing time, thoughtfulness, and/or creativity is needed way more than a scented candle or new sweater.
I don’t disagree that most (not all, but most) of us have too damn much stuff.
I don’t even disagree that there are probably sleeker alternatives than a battered up Banker’s box for storing your ornaments and angels.
I’m just not sure that anyone is listening, because even the new angles are old again, and no one seems the wiser. There are expectations and “traditions” to uphold after all. We have to get stuff for the kiddos, right? They have to have something to open!
I don’t know. Apparently Laura Ingalls Wilder managed to get by one year with a tin cup and a stick of peppermint. I think Ma managed to scare up a wild turkey (the poultry variety, not liquid) for supper, too. Clearly Mrs. Wilder never forgot any of it, because she was writing about it roughly 60 years later. How many of us can remember everything we got for Christmas or Chanukah when we were 8ish?
Consider too, about 60% of shoppers on Black Friday “self-gift.” Yeah, that’s a term. They spend roughly $150 doing it, and why not, with over half of the gifts they receive from others being things they return anyway?
I really don’t mean to come across judgy, and I can certainly plug myself into the one-clicking crowd as easily as the next person. I’m just tired. Thanks to the wonders of Gmail I now know that I’ve received no fewer than 67…no wait, (bing!) now 68 AMAZING DEAL promo codes in my personal inbox in the three days since Thanksgiving. And I’m someone who unsubscribes constantly. Despite my striving towards alternative holiday activities, this season is already feeling tired and clichéd. Even the minimalist, socially conscientious stuff is getting tedious.
So maybe y'all could do me a favor? Could you send me a little something…an idea, thought, action…about what you might be doing to shake your holiday season up a bit? Are you stepping out and going completely giftless? Hanging out at a monastery? Taking pictures of turtles (or bears, or leafless trees) all day? Drinking a cup of the gourmet cocoa you got on sale last week and calling it good?
Then again, the more you have, the more you have to organize, resell, and donate to charity in six months. I’ll be here. ;-)
Sara Skillen - Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Organizer Coach®, wife, mom, and serial list-maker. Learning to trust my intuition more every day. Shall we work together?