Just Say NO to Holiday Catalog Gimmees

 

As quickly as Halloween candy and costumes were stocked on store shelves, they are gone. In their place, red and white and twinkle-lights appear. The holidays are coming, and with them, the peak shopping season of the year.

For the Story of Stuff Community, the holiday season is a time for us to reflect, to feel awe and gratitude for all of the things we’ve been blessed with this year. And we’re working to help others embrace a more simple holiday season. Unfortunately, for many people, the holiday season is the most stressful time of year. It can be very tempting to try and meet endless expectations of decorating, coordinating elaborate party logistics, and perfectly wrapping presents.

Holiday catalogs are just one of the things that perpetuate the cycle of holiday stress and shopping. You may have noticed that your mailbox is inundated with a surge of holiday catalogs that show people in cozy sweaters playing in the snow or being the life of a party. People who are enjoying the season much more than you, perhaps. These catalogs are one of the many sources of holiday clutter and waste, and send the message that we need to shop to show our holiday spirit, and even our love for the people in our lives.  And at this time of year, it can be very difficult for ourselves and our kids to see through the allure of the holiday catalog.

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The truth is, catalogs and the Stuff in them can’t help us create that special feeling of wonder that we crave during this time of year. So what can we do to create a more simple holiday that’s just as festive and memorable? For starters, take some time to assess what matters most in your life. Then, schedule time to do these things, and set an intention to be fully present while you are doing them. Want to give a friend a meaningful present? Try your hand at baking a pie from scratch, or writing a heartfelt letter. Want to experience natural wonders in the wintertime? Spend New Year’s Eve exploring a state park!

Creating a more simple holiday might require some initial planning and effort, and even disciple. But memories of time spent with people you care about, getting out in nature, and challenging yourself to create something new can give you the warm and fuzzies for years to come – and in a way that no store-bought holiday sweater ever could!

Ready to create a more simple holiday?

Simplify the Holidays 2015 is a joint project of Center for a New American Dream and The Story of Stuff Project. Catalog Choice is managed by The Story of Stuff Project.

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