Confession Tuesday

Ho! Ho! Ho! Time to find out who's naughty and who's nice. Time to confess. Time to wipe the slate clean and look ahead to 2009!

Yes, they're cute. But their cuteness hides the hacking coughs and runny noses these little disease carriers have been harboring for days. Admittedly, they have been downright nice lately so I'm sure Santa will make a house call soon.


I am about 65% through my holiday shopping. Like most people I know, I'm sticking to a budget. All of this global economic confusion is unsettling, and is starting to affect more people I know personally (job losses, tighter budgets, cut funding, etc.).

For me, cutting back has less to do with saving money that it does a fundamental change in attitude. And I couldn't articulate that point until I heard this great podcast from Marketplace Money. Here's an excerpt from a story called "Shrinking Your Gift Footprint."

"Linda Decker glances at a couple of Tousignant's pieces but doesn't buy anything. Thrifty shoppers like her are known as New Simplifiers. That term was coined by Harvard Business school professor John Quelch.

John Quelch: The key thing here is that the simplifier is being motivated by a desire to manage their life in a less complicated way. So it's more the reduction of complexity rather than the simple act of saving money."

And I had one of those Aha moments. It just feels wrong to spend money this holiday season on things that may someday end up in a landfill. I like the idea of a reduction of complexity. Making time for the people and things that matter. I've been doing this for the past few months by seeking out more meaningful experiences for my family instead of buying things. And I've been getting rid of clothes and toys like a mad woman, donating them to charities in hopes that our stuff can be appreciated by someone in need.

Am I alone in this or have others been having the same thoughts this holiday season?


Speaking of the people who matter, I haven't visited many blogs lately. Sorry. I feel like that friend who says, "Let's do lunch sometime," but never calls. Part of the reason is because my laptop is still not working. But, I should have it back tomorrow, which means I'll come by to visit more often.


I have more blog content/poetry to-dos floating around in my head than I can possibly post about, but this week I'll give it a shot!


Collin Kelley said…
I reduced my gift footprint to zero this year by giving nothing and asking for nothing in return. Instead, my friends and family are meeting to have dinner and maybe going to a movie. That's it this year.
January said…
Sounds like a great way to spend the holidays!
Am I alone in this or have others been having the same thoughts this holiday season?

****Yes, very much.

Though I think for me, it's harder with kids. My Christmas as a child was always very magical and I would my daughter to have the same memories of that, but without believing it's the material items that make or break Christmas.

I love to buy gifts for others, so I think of in my family, I am probably the one whose footprint is the biggest. One thing I did this year is to buy "experiences" for others. Like tickets to a play, a dinner gift certificate. Things that support the community and won't end up in a landfill.

My sister who came up with the idea no presents for adults, just kids and instead we do 3 good deeds. I think we're going to continue that in the future.

And actually, coming up with "good deeds" has been pretty fun. And honestly, I like not shopping for people. I actually have found it to be a treat. But it does feel a little funny not having as many gifts for others, like I'm forgetting something!

I'm off to listen to the link you posted. Thanks for that (in advance).
Odessa said…
i organized a christmas swap for all my friends from back home who also immigrated here in the US. there's 7 of us, all living in different states. each swap parcel would include 3 things: something to eat/drink, something to read/watch/listen and something special.

other than that, i'm only sending christmas cards to friends and relatives.
Deb said…
I don't have children, and my parents and small family have all agreed less is more. It is nice to not be shopping & wrapping. I do feel rather alien.

Both WD (my blogmate) and I have confessed. Hers is historical, and clever. I'm in a mood. Read at your own risk (fair warning)!
January said…
This is great! Thanks for sharing your ideas about the holidays.

I like the simplified swaps and doing good deeds. If nothing else, this economic downturn has reminded us all about what's important during the "silly season."
January said…
Kelli, I do have to admit, I love shopping. Love shopping, love crowds, love gift-giving--the whole nine yards. But I'm hoping there will be so much going on that they won't notice a few less presents under the tree.

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