Now this year I tried a new tactic and went for a handmade Christmas (by other people, not me). If I had managed to pull it off completely, I think I wouldn’t feel so icky about the holiday. The handmade stuff I got from craft shows and Etsy and the Guru felt great to give; as did the pictures Silverpixels took for me. But I didn’t stop there. And that’s where I went wrong.
The thing is, Christmas is just a microcosm of the rest of the year. The problem is not just giving the stuff, it is the stuff in general.
Forever ago, I read Simplify your Life by Elaine St. James and I took step one: “Reduce the Clutter in your Life” very seriously. But I didn’t really get it. I have an entire house full of clutter and I keep bringing home more. Food and clothing for ever growing children is one thing but the hundreds of toys? Books? Gadgets? Tote bags? I’m a sucker. I’m infected with consumerism and I’d really like to be inoculated against it.
Well, it’s fresh start month so no need to continue dwelling. I have ten months until next Christmas and I’m armed with a three step plan: 1. Budget. 2. Be able to shake the hand of the person who made the gifts I’m giving. 3. Manage the expectations of my recipients. There, I’m ready! Bring on some birthdays so I can practice!
In the meantime, what about the rest of this stuff that is getting in the way of my singing? Well, a lot of it is going to have to go. Also, I’m initiating a moratorium on stuff acquisition. Game on, Elaine. I think I finally get it.