I'm over the Christmas lists. Already. I have enough stuff and so do my kiddos. Don't get me wrong: we are so richly blessed and thankful for the things we have. With 4 separate sets of parents/grandparents, there is always an abundance at birthdays and Christmas. And for that I am grateful. Many times the monetary gifts we receive at Christmas will be our personal spending the rest of the year. With a tight budget of $10 a month of personal money these days, I am SURELY looking forward to some of the blessings that will be flowing our way this holiday season. Don't get me wrong.
It's just the stuff. Okay, I'm talking about toys. We've got a closet full of them downstairs and bedrooms stocked upstairs. Even a few bins in the attic that can be rotated in on a rainy day.
For the past several years, I've had this inkling to simplify. To purge. And not just to purge the excessive amount of kids' stuff in our home, but my closet, household products, etc.
But it's HARD. Especially when it comes to my closet. I like having lots of options. But I also like having a tidy, well organized closet with hangers that are neatly spaced apart from one another. If you think that's strange, I'd just like to say that I've come a long way from previously color coding and arranging from sleeveless to long sleeve. Baby steps.
So while these ideas of a simplified and more minimalistic lifestyle have been tugging at my heart, I needed to put it out there. There is something about telling others about the things living in your head that make them real. That invokes action. And maybe I'll even find some fellow sojourners along the way. I know you're out there...
Along with cutting the clutter from my heart and my home is the desire for my kids to cherish experiences and time spent with others or serving others over stuff. It's been a blast and a blessing to ask for a received gifts such as a pool pass, Imagination Station membership and Zoo membership in the past. These things are a good start. But I want to foster a love for seeking, exploring, doing and serving. I believe that these are true gifts, and deep, meaningful blessings can come from such things.
My dear friend and pseudo-mother, Laura Grace Weldon, often writes on this idea. She's onto something, has been for years. You can read about it here.
And so the question remains. Amidst my counter-cultural bend and good intentions, how do we keep gifts simple? Keep CHRISTMAS gifts simple? Please know that I am not anti gift-giving. I don't want to be a ba-humbug! Right now I'm just searching for a balance and to cut the excess. I'm looking for ideas and some friends who are along for the ride with me. Don't be shy now... :)