Christmas shopping, the minimalist way

Christmas presents piled underneath a christmas tree.

It’s that time of year again. Where we get to see humanity at its best……and worst. We see people shower family and friends with joy, love, and gifts. But we also see people crowd the stores for the best deals on merchandise. They push, elbow, yell at, and occasionally get physically confrontational with strangers for the sake of acquiring merch for their loved ones. We see them wait on line for hours for the latest tech. All this pain and suffering for the sake of more “stuff”.

To make this Christmas better, let us first remember that it is “people” who are important not “things”. We may all be strangers to each other, but under God we are all bothers and sisters. We should be thinking of each other that way, and therefore treating each other that way.

Second, let us remember that life is all about people and experiences. With that in mind, give the gift of experiences to your loved ones. That is, give them the gift of activities they might enjoy. Perhaps even something they have never done before.

Need some ideas. Here are some:

  • A dinner date
  • A Swedish massage at the local spa (my fave)
  • A night on the town
  • A movie
  • A wine tasting tour
  • A Theater show (Broadway, or off-Broadway)
  • Seats at a sporting event
  • Concert tickets
  • Casino trip (I don’t condone gambling……but just saying)
  • A sporting experience (white water rafting, kayaking, hiking, water skiing, sailing, tubing, bicycle touring, sky diving, etc)
  • A vacation

Let me also add, that if we are going out to shop, be cautious. It’s “The Wild West” out there during this season. Also, shop local; support your local small businesses. The least we can do is make sure the enormous amounts of money we spend for Christmas go toward stimulating our local economy, which in the end, goes right back to us.

Living Better Small (My book)

Living-Better-Small-bookTo get the “101” on my mindset, my philosophy of life, it all starts with this book. It’s all about the three values of life.

My book is available on Kindle and nook.

Living Better Small (The Book for Kindle)

Living Better Small (The Book for nook)

 

The Minimizing Equation

equationIt has come to my attention that some people, some minimalists have a hard time determining whether a possession of theirs is valuable enough to be worth keeping. To be honest there is no solid mental process for determining these things. I myself struggle with this very often. When this happens to me, when I am divided between keeping something and discarding it, I ask myself a few key questions. These questions are:

 

  1. Is the time I spend maintaining this thing longer than the time I spend using/enjoying this thing?
  2. Is the money I spend maintaining this thing the best use of that money, or could I be spending that money on something I could get far more value out of?
  3. Is the amount of physical space this thing is taking worth the gain (tougher to determine).

Question 1 is the deal breaker. If I spend more time maintaining something than I do using/enjoying it, bye bye.

Question 2 is also a deal breaker.

Question 3 is not quite so straight forward. So It will often require more thought.

Here are some examples of things I discarded in my life based on these guidelines:

  1. Cable Service
  2. MTG Card Collection
  3. DVD’s
  4. Clothes, shoes
  5. Extra Bicycle
  6. Kidney (Just kidding)
  7. Wife (and the jokes just keep on coming)

Presently I do have a large comic book collection that I have not touched in ages. I have not gotten rid of it for investment purposes…….and admittedly sentimental reasons. But for all practicality, while it requires no maintenance or money to keep (anymore), it is taking up half my closet. I just can’t bring myself to do it. I am far from the perfect minimalist. But as with all things, it’s not the destination, but the journey that makes it all worth while.