Useful Links on the Holidays and Shopping

As I’ve mentioned previously, I subscribe to a lot of magazines and blogs. Although I’m gradually paring things down in both areas, I still consume quite a bit of information.  Most recent articles have focused primarily on holiday deals and gift guides, but there have been some bright spots of refreshing content buried among the consumerist morass.

Holiday Shopping and Consumerism

This time of year is about more than gifts and shopping!

Since I haven’t done a “useful links” post in a while, I decided to share some of my favorite recent articles on the topics of  holidays and shopping with you today.  Some of these articles are from popular bloggers, so you may have already seen them, but I’m sharing them anyway because they’re just so good (and worth a second read!).

Included in the mix are essays from a previous guest poster, a frequent commenter, and Dr. April Benson.  All present excellent perspectives on the holidays, sales, and shopping that are departures from the predominant societal views of “more is more,” “shop ‘til you drop,” and “buying is love.”

On Holiday Shopping and Spending

Erin DePew of Pixel Perfect has guest-posted twice on “Recovering Shopaholic” (see here and here).  In this wonderful post, she implores all of us to stop the gluttony of holiday shopping and send a message to retailers that some things are more important to us than cut-throat prices.

This blog post on The Matt Walsh Blog went viral and was even featured on the Huffington Post.  Matt writes about how Black Friday and holiday sales have seeped over into Thanksgiving and are poised to ruin a sacred American holiday.  His thoughts on commercialization, hypocrisy, and what life is really about are worth reading regardless of whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving.

Joshua Fields Millburn used to be a retail manager before he became one of The Minimalists. He shares some of his insider knowledge of the retail business and Black Friday and tells us why venturing out to the stores this weekend is not a good idea.  If you like this article, you may also want to read “Five Steps Toward a More Meaningful Holiday Season.”

This post by Courtney Carver of Be More with Less is from a few weeks ago but is especially relevant this weekend.  Courtney suggests some excellent alternatives to holiday shopping that will help you spend less, eliminate household clutter, and embrace the simplicity and meaning of this time of year with purpose and intention.  You may also want to check out Courtney’s “31 Days of Gifts You So Deserve.”

On Having a More Meaningful Holiday Season

Terra Trevor is an author, blogger, and a frequent commenter on this blog.  She also wrote this excellent article that was published on the Huffington Post last December.  Terra shares how she stopped her exhausting December activities and created a new tradition for her family, doing less. As a result, she now looks forward to the holidays and gives the most important gift to her loved ones, the gift of her time.

This article was written by April Benson, PhD., for Psychology Today. Although it was published in 2010, the key sentiments expressed are equally relevant today. Dr. Benson offers compelling reasons for why we should choose experiences over things and shares the new traditions she and her family created following a holiday meltdown.

Sandra Pawula of Always Well Within asks us to pause and really consider the type of holidays we’d like to have this year.  She includes a list of powerful questions to ask ourselves to help us make better decisions and be more mindful of how we spend our time and our money. We have choices and we can give ourselves the gift of a holiday we truly want and deserve.

This is a wonderful website from The Center for a New American Dream, whose mission is to help Americans reduce and shift our consumption to improve quality of life, protect the environment, and promote social justice.  Their Simplify the Holidays site includes a printable coupon book for gifts of memories, a booklet of practical tips, and a number of other useful tips to help you wrap your holiday in more meaning and less stuff.  This site is not just for Americans!

I’m Grateful for All of You!

I hope you enjoy checking out this collection of useful links.   I realize that I included more links than usual, but it was difficult for me to narrow down the selection.  If you’ve read other articles on these topics that you’d like to share, I invite you to do so in the comments section.

I know I have readers all around the world (which is wonderful!), but for those of us in the U.S., this is Thanksgiving weekend, a time to pause and express our gratitude for our blessings in life.  So I want to express to all of you how grateful I am to you for reading my blog and supporting my recovering shopaholic journey.

Many of you have written to thank me for my blog, but I want you to know that the thankfulness extends both ways.  I will never meet most of you and many of you will never comment or email me, but I know you’re out there.  I feel your support and I write for you!   When I’m tempted to overshop, I think of you and I often reconsider my actions as a result.

The support, accountability, and encouragement this blog has provided have been instrumental in the recovery I’ve made thus far.  While I still have a long way to go before I can call myself a recovered shopaholic, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today had I not started this blog and connected with so many wonderful people.  So thank you for being there and for helping me along the way!

For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, I wish you a happy and joyous holiday. For everyone else, I wish you a wonderful weekend.   To all, I send you gratitude and wishes for abundant blessings, for the holidays and all year long!


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Comments

  1. Happy Thanksgiving Debbie! I hope that you have a great day.

  2. FrugalFashionista says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Debbie – your blog is always lovely!

  3. Happy Thanksgiving.
    I have never heard of “Black Friday” before but sounds awful. Where I come from any day that is prefaced with the word “black” signifies a very nasty, tragic bushfire.
    Cheers to the Americans on their special holiday and may we all stay away from the shops!

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Interesting perspective, CS… Black Friday is indeed awful in many respects. Maybe not as awful as a very nasty, tragic bushfire, but awful nonetheless!

  4. Happy Thanksgiving, Debbie.

    I thought the Matt Walsh piece was awesome — thanks for mentioning it. His line about not wanting to make some single mother earning minimum wage miss her Thanksgiving dinner b/c she was stuck ringing up his meaningless purchases at some suburban Target really struck home. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that image or the sentiment.

    Thank you for enriching my life this year — I really appreciate it.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, Bette. The Matt Walsh piece touched me in a similar way. That image of the single mother is burned in my brain, too. If I even thought of shopping on Thanksgiving (which I didn’t), that image would have certainly dissuaded me.

      I’m glad you enjoy my blog and feel that it enriches your life. That’s why I do it!

  5. Enjoyed reading your post, as always, Debbie. I am in need of a new laptop as my old one is slowly but surely giving up its ghost. No way would I set foot in a store this weekend. Surely something will be on sale after the first if the year. Until then, I will reboot five times a day… Have a wonderful and relaxing weekend.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Sorry to hear you have to reboot your computer five times a day, Cornelia! I’ve had my share of computer problems so I know how frustrating they can be… I’m sure there will be great deals on computers come January and you’ll be able to find a good replacement.

  6. Every year I am amazed by news stories that show us people camping out in front of their favorite retailer in order to save $$ on some purchase. Where did this crazed idea of “scoring” a deal come from — the Oklahoma land rush? No purchase is worth going to such extremes. I write this as I get ready to head to the mall — to work this Friday. I hope I don’t see any of you there!

    • Debbie Roes says:

      I hope your Black Friday at work wasn’t too crazy, Dottie. I heard some nasty stories, but most of them were from Walmart and I doubt that’s where you work. I know bad things also happened elsewhere, but I’ve never personally experienced anything like those Walmart videos! Simply horrible!

  7. Happy thanksgiving Debbie. Your blog is the only blog I check for a new entry every day, it’s been such an inspiration to me. Thanks for sharing your journey with all of us out there.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      It means a lot to me that you are inspired by my blog, K. I’m very happy that my writing has resonated with you and others!

  8. Good topic Debbie! I also avoid all shopping of any kind onThanksgiving, Friday after, and through the weekend, with the exception of food. And since we have established the practice of slowing down at Christmas I won’t be doing much shopping in December either. Thank you for including the link to my HuffPost article about taking back the holidays and creating a new tradition for my family, doing less.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      I was happy to include your wonderful article, Terra. I hope lots of people read it and received value from it. I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving weekend with your family!

  9. Deborah (Deby) says:

    I have to admit I went to the mall on black Friday. But not to purchase. I didn’t spend a cent. I went to the Apple store to confer with them about choosing a new computer for my business, with the assistance of a friend who is visiting for the holiday. The mall wasn’t too bad. It’s the biggest mall in my area, and while it was a little harder than usual to find a parking spot, I was able to take care of what I needed to efficiently. I didn’t see any deals that were any better than the usual sales, and saw nothing to tempt me. Loft had a 50% off sale but I have already purchased all that I intend to for the season (and I have 98.00 left in my winter budget!)

    Debbie, I hope you had a great holiday weekend!

    • Debbie Roes says:

      I’m glad your Black Friday mall experience went fairly smoothly, Deby. Someone we know went to our local mall and it wasn’t too bad for her, either. Maybe the craziness is all at Walmart and such stores, or maybe it all occurred on Thanksgiving evening or early on the morning of Black Friday. Interesting that the deals weren’t all that substantial. Perhaps it’s mostly hype. Congrats on having $98 left in your winter budget!

      I DID shop this weekend, but I didn’t visit the mall. I learned that many retailers started the Cyber Monday sales on Friday, so I took advantage of the sales to buy some things I need, including two pairs of pants (which should work because I already have another pair in the same style). I bought too much, but I’m sure some of it won’t work and will need to be returned. I am shopping for needs rather than wants, but I still find myself getting a bit too “energized” by it all. May post about that soon… I’m still a long way away from being a RECOVERED shopaholic!

  10. I enjoyed these links- thanks for posting them! I like to read things that counteract all the consumerist messages we receive, especially at this time of year.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      You’re welcome, Heather! I agree there are FAR too many consumerist messages out there and it can be both overwhelming and depressing. I’m happy to do my part to present the other side of the story.

  11. What a sweet expression of gratitude, Debbie! I’m so happy you are on the path of recovery and sharing your insights with all of us.

    Just the names of these articles make reading your post worthwhile. Then, the articles themselves multiply the benefit a thousand-fold. Thanks for including a link to my post.

    I hope you are having an enjoyable holiday season.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      You’re welcome, Sandra! I was happy to share your wonderful post with my readers. I’m glad you enjoyed reading the other articles. I hope your holidays are going well, too. I loved your post today and will share it on social media (and maybe in a future links post!).

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