A little over a year ago as we were prepping our house to be put up for sale (and the subsequent move) we did a lot of paring down. Really spent some time considering whether individual items were really necessary, useful, or important. It felt really good to be able to look around our house and see that what we had really contributed to the home instead of just being more clutter. Unfortunately, about 18 months have passed since then. And the stuff monster has been hard at work.
Starting in October (for crying out loud!!) the big HOLIDAY machinery has begun to wind up-- Buy this! Buy that! BUY! BUY! BUY! Quite frankly, I've about had enough of it. I love the winter holidays. Its a special, magical time where we focus on our family and friends and giving to others. What could be better than that?
Unfortunately, the spirit of giving has been greatly overshadowed by the spirit of having. Giving stuff and getting stuff has become the end-all be-all of the holiday season. I don't need more stuff. I don't need to clutter up my friends' and familys' homes with stuff. I don't need to buy the boys so much stuff that they can't possibly fit it in their rooms. Its time to say, "ENOUGH!! ENOUGH WITH THE STUFF!!!"
Here's my plan for cutting down on the consumerism of the season:
1) I'm not going out on Black Friday. I appreciate the need of businesses to make money, however I do object to them requiring employees to give up their family time to come in at 8 pm or midnight or 3 am or whatever on Thanksgiving weekend.
2) I'm going to try to get my adult friends and family to exchange homemade (food or crafts or services or whatever) gifts instead of store bought ones.
3) I'm going to try to spend more time doing things as a family-- baking cookies, watching holiday movies, going to see holiday lights, playing games.
4) I'm going to find an opportunity to volunteer or help in my community.
I'm sure there is a lot more that I could do but I think this is a good place to start. I want my kids to look back on the holidays of their childhood and have a warm cozy feeling. I want the holidays to be about family, love, and peace.... not STUFF! I want to raise 2 Whos in our own little Who-ville who would still have an awesome holiday even if they had NOTHING--not even a can of who-hash.