In the midst of the holiday season, here are some ideas from Living More with Less regarding celebrations, with my thoughts in red.
- Celebrations are more than entertainment--they should nurture people and strengthen faith. I totally agree! For more ideas on this subject, see this recent post about an inspiring book on traditions.
- When planning celebrations, look for moderation and simplicity. I have been thinking about this a lot. We are looking for ways to cut back, which includes our decision to not give our son any presents this year. He's just one year old, his needs are being met, and we have a generous family who desires to give him some new toys and clothes. (We compiled a list of suggested items.) With gift giving occasions, we're trying to communicate our desire for simplicity to loved ones while also acknowledging our gratitude. Please note: I really enjoy giving and receiving gifts, but in recent years we've made several steps in decreasing the quantity. For my husband and me, this is a positive decision, not a somber one (see quote at top of post).
- Save energy and avoid products that litter and pollute. It's so easy when we're busy or hosting large groups to opt for disposable. I've also found many cute designs on paper plates and napkins, and these products can often be acquired very cheaply. Though we're still setting out paper napkins when we're hosting, I've been using "real" plates and cups almost exclusively. It really doesn't take much effort to clean up, and I feel good knowing I've taken a small step to be more green. Cloth napkins would be the next step for us.
- Give gifts that meet genuine needs or reflect the giver's desire to show love, or both. What a thought-provoking statement! My favorite gifts are usually the most practical. I really enjoy receiving socks (cute ones, of course) and postage stamps for Christmas. I also appreciate sentimental gifts, such as the porch swing my husband gave me as a wedding present. We had our DTR ("defining the relationship" conversation) on a friend's porch swing and were engaged on that same swing, so acquiring one of our own was a very fitting gift!
I've really appreciated the challenges and inspiration from this book. What are your thoughts on these topics?