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We don’t need more. What the world needs more of is LESS.
Note: When I started writing this article, it was just before Christmas. The past year seems to be a blur but I was determined to address this topic. This is a topic I’m very passionate about and apologize if it sounds like a rant. Also thank you for your patience while we were off schedule in updating this site. We are back and will be updating regularly. Denise
It’s that time of year again. The time of year when everyone goes crazy running around buying gifts that no one really wants, racking up debt that no family needs and just plain driving ourselves crazy. And what’s even more insane is that the message of the season is not about buying things is it? (Click Here To Read How To Avoid The Allure of Marketing Efforts ).
And to add fuel to the craziness fire, the other holidays seem to have become equally insane with excess. Matter of fact, Valentine’s Day was a little over a week ago. The photos in my feed on social media were absolutely mind-boggling to me. Seriously? Does a five-year old really need as many toys, clothes and candy for Valentine’s Day as they receive on Christmas morning? Going deeper, do they need that much for any holiday including their birthday?
Right now, take a moment to think of what you got for Christmas four years ago. How about eight years ago? Do you remember? Unless it was something very personal and created a memory for you, you will probably need some time to remember what it was. IF you remember at all. I can tell you for sure my oldest daughter gave me Jelly Belly Jelly Beans. Why? Because she knows I love jelly beans so she gets them for me every year and has since she was in high school. Makes me smile just thinking about it.
You may not remember what you received as a gift but you will probably find it easier to remember where you were or what you did. Our memories are more important than things and this little exercise just proved it.
We are living in crazy times right now. As an example, know that our country is considering importing chicken from China for our consumption. Approved to do so by the USDA even though there are no inspectors in those Chinese factories. Remember the dog food recall from food processed in China? The reason? It’s less expensive.
Unfortunately, this is only the tip of a very large problem. Why? People do not want to pay the cost of what it would cost for Americans to manufacturer or produce goods – it’s as simple as that. Consumers want everything cheap. So cheap that families living on minimum wage cannot pay what it would cost to manufacturer our products in the USA. THEY are not being paid enough to be able to do so.
Add to that families feel pressured to provide their kids with what the children’s friends own. Do families need an I-pad for each child in the family? Does each child really need their own bedroom? Consumer debt continues to be extremely high and many families cannot survive without credit cards.
Imagine the pressure you could take off your family by simply choosing to live a different lifestyle. A simpler lifestyle. Living minimally and simply is a process. In the beginning it will not be easy especially if you have kids used to having whatever it is their hearts desire. From me to you though, it will be worth it. Especially when you realize how much stress you have been living with trying to keep up with the Joneses.
You see when I was growing up in the 60’s & 70’s, mom stayed home while dad worked. My dad actually worked two jobs. That second job? That’s what he used to save to take our family on a one week vacation every year. Dad kept envelopes in a box on his dresser – one envelope for each of our household needs such as gas, food, school. And one for our annual vacation.
I am not able to tell you what I received for Christmas three years ago but I can tell you where my family went on vacation just about every year when I was younger. We were able to enjoy so much of this country we live in through our road trips. One trip in particular is quite funny. We went to visit the Blue Hole in Castilla, Ohio. What is it? A blue hole but I remember that blue hole as well as Greenwich Village, Washington D.C. Fort Knox and many more.
Later on, our vacations shifted from road trips to staying a week in a lodge at a state park where we swam, water-skied, went boating, fishing, and just enjoyed spending time together roasting marshmallows at the end of a warm summer day. Do you see the big picture yet? If not, let me tell you. It’s not the THINGS you remember. It’s the MOMENTS that create memories that will stay with you your whole life. Do this for your family.
For tips on how to begin your decluttering journey, you can Start Here, or snag a copy of the 30 Day Challenge (our Minimalism and Decluttering eBook).