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.
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!