11.25.2014

Day 28: Five Ways to turn Wantsgiving back into Thanksgiving

"I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes,
and not rather a new wearer of clothes."

- Thoreau's Walden

I am pumped about Thanksgiving.  You see I love dressing--not stuffing, dressing.  If you don't know the difference, get out.  Just get out.  No really, this is an important day, one where we gather to say how thankful for what we have. . . and to sit around and highlight doorbuster adds with all of the stuff we don't have.  And while I look for gifts to give, I always end up shopping for myself.

When did Thanksgiving become Wantsgiving for me?

I am guilty of having too many shiny shopping bags at my shins this time of year.  So, how can I live thanks this season?   I don't want to undo all the #gratitudeparty stuff the same way that yummy dressing might undo my attempts at exercise.  With that in mind, here are five things I'm trying:
  1. Don't buy anything for myself.  (And, once the season is over, only buy things when they've been worked through this cool little printable I keep in my wallet.)
  2. Buy local.  I like to seek out the best deals at the big box stores, but once we add in milage and packaging, could a few extra bucks in the pockets of our neighbors be an added gift?
  3. Shop with friends and/or family and focus on relationships.  What would it look like for us to focus on the people shopping with us as much as we do on the price tags?  What if instead of bargains we were shopping for stories of the time we got up so early and that situation that made us laugh so hard?
  4. Before buying, sort out items to give away.  This is not about having a sleeker system for your home as much as it is about the spirit of the holiday.  How would it look to slash our things back severely enough so that it actually helps?
  5. Give an experience instead of stuff.  Are there events or experiences that can be gifted instead of things?  Think of creative ways to connect people and places.  
I don't need new things as much as I need new eyes to see the things--and more importantly, the people and relationships--I already have.  What if we greeted this week of Thanksgiving not with the culture's eyes--which teach us to want, want, want and red circle graffiti all those advertisements--but with fresh eyes that see the people around us anew?  My Grandma, who always made the best holiday dressing, passed away this year.  Time with our family is a precious gift.  What if we noticed something small and different about each one and illuminated it with a positive heart?  Wouldn't that be the gift we're all really looking for?

Day 28 Challenge:
  • Choose one of the holiday shopping ideas above to try.
*This post is part of a 30-day gratitude challenge.  Subscribe via e-mail (on the left) or post a gratitude to WIN A PIE HERE.

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