Tuesday, November 19, 2013

On minimalism and holiday giving.

I'm still working on my closet folks. 

Purging. Is. Hard. 

It's not really getting rid of stuff that's hard, it's the fear of getting rid of too much. However will I survive if I get rid of too many shirts? (Duh, I'll wash the ones I have). 

We are surrounded by this fear of not having enough things to get by. Or not having enough space. Or going without things that are considered a societal norm. 

When our third son was born we kept hearing that it was minivan time. Sure a minivan might make car trips a little easier or more comfortable but 10 months later we are still making the Civic work. 

We haven't hooked up our dryer since we moved, because I don't consider it necessary. Sure, most of the population considers it a need but I'm happy with some good ol' sunshine. (Yep, even in November).

My point here is not that minivans or dryers are bad, because they aren't! My point is that it's okay to think outside the box when it it comes to weighing "needs". I've decided that I don't need 10 long sleeve t-shirts, a dryer, or a minivan ( I'm pretty psyched to rock out a station wagon when we do decide to upgrade).

When it comes time for holiday gifting my husband and I of course put a lot of thought and effort into making it special for our boys, and in years past we've worried that maybe they wouldn't have enough presents to open under the tree. But where is that line between not enough and enough, who draws that line? 

Maybe you've heard of the " want, need, wear, read" movement when it comes to gifting? If you haven't it's quite simple. You give one gift from each category per person. We've adopted this in our family and it suits us. Each boy this year will get a pair of cozy winter pajamas for the "wear" category. For "read" a special book, I haven't picked them for sure yet but I'm leaning towards some lovely winter stories. "Want" is a work in progress, and "need", well need can be a tough one. As parents we tend to provide anything our children need right away. I've found the best way to think about "need" is to consider what they may need for the winter season. This year I'm knitting them each a hat and mitten set, something they will definitely need for the Wisconsin winter but it will be special since it's mama-made. 

The other nice side effect of this little gifting motto is that we are not stretching our budget to buy a lot of quantity. Quantity inevitably ends up crumpled in a corner or shoved under a bed and that's just no fun for anybody. Since we aren't stressed about getting lots of gifts for our kids we can focus on getting quality gifts for them. 

That's a comment I hear often, the desire to buy quality items but not necessarily be able to afford them. We can't spend gobs of money either but by limiting the amount we purchase we can buy better quality items. Side note: this desire can also be used as motivation to learn a new craft or skill. 

So as we enter the season of gifting take some time to reflect on the true needs in your life. Consider where you feel comfortable drawing the line on enough. Really contemplate what gifts will be meaningful to give to your loved ones. Make a plan to buy quality over quantity, and perhaps make some gifts yourself (if you don't have the time to learn a new craft then choose to support a local crafter). 

And remember, it's about time with loved ones not stuff anyways :)

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of "want, need, wear, read"! We are also going to be making presents for people this year.