Dear Family:
August 22, 2012, 1:23 PM
Filed under: Buy Local, Decluttering, Mindful Consumerism | Tags: ,


As a new school year begins, along with college football and all things autumn, your thoughts may begin to turn towards The Holidays. Christmas specifically. So here I am, in August, hopefully before anything has been bought, asking you to forget all the fool’s gold of the upcoming season and instead focus on the best parts it  has to offer. For me, that includes outdoor light’s and music, decorations and homemade cookies-they’re all special. Christmas Eve candlelight services are meaningful and sacred. But piles of gifts aren’t  necessary to make merry. All that’s required is for us to spend time together as a family, and it’s a party. You know, time spent watching ‘Christmas Vacation’ and ‘Christmas Story’ for the umpteenth year in a row. Time spent letting me beat ya’ll at Scrabble. Time spent laughing until I wet my pants. Time spent in the kitchen together, making chili and buckeyes. And the best part? There’s no credit card bills due come January, no mountains of wrapping paper to throw away, nothing to return to the mall the day after Christmas.  But since you always want to ‘buy me something’ here are some ideas for gifts that won’t require you to go in debt, or to wrap. And I’ll love knowing that we’re helping locally owned businesses stay in business:

– Florida Citrus -you know, the kind high schools sell as fundraisers. Not the 3 oranges in a fancy basket kind, all done up with cellophane and a bow, but the kind that come piled in a plain cardboard box-they’re the best! This is the only NON-localized gift on my list, but at least it’s not from California.

– Tickets to the Blue Moon Dinner Theater in downtown Johnson City

– A prepaid  punch card for the neighborhood oil change shop

– Gift certificates to most any LOCAL eatery-(I’d like to try that new Lebanese or Mediterranean place in town)

–  Vegan Cupcakes made by Veronica at Mid City Grill, Pizza from Scratch Bakery, or Mennonite donuts from the Farmer’s Market

– Candles or hand-made soaps made by local craftspeople

– Paid admission to a writer’s workshop

–  My two front teeth

The simplicity of Thanksgiving has become my new favorite holiday because it’s all about family too, but doesn’t require gifts, or even a card. Just a turkey and some cornbread dressing. OK, a pumpkin pie or two as well. I don’t want you to think I’m  a Scrooge or a jerk, it’s just that I’ve spent the last 2 months unpacking and finding places for all the crap I moved from the old house to this one and am finding that the more I declutter the freer I feel and the simpler my life is. I have less stuff to worry about now, which means less stuff for YOU ALL to worry about when I’m gone. So, don’t get caught up in the consumerism of Christmas this year, please. This year be mindful: Stop and listen, taste and smell, but don’t buy it. That will be priceless.

2 Comments so far
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Go Sam! ❤

Comment by doug

It’s always great to stumble onto a new website this terrific. I will be back here for certain.

Comment by music on line

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