The Buy Nothing Challenge—Happy New Year
Waaaaay back on Black Friday 2012, Zen Habits guru/blogger Leo Babauta announced his Buy Nothing until 2013 Challenge. Basically, unless your kids’ shoes have holes in them, buy nothing but food and necessities until January 2013.
I thought, well, there he goes being selfless and logical and all hippie-dippie-environmental and shit, and here I am resisting it.
I knew I’d already ‘blown it’ because in early November, I’d ordered toys and clothes (so cute, though!) from Disney.com, which my mom repacked and sent to me, well ahead of the Christmas postal rush. I always considered Christmas the time to go overboard with wrapping paper, bows and gifts. Just jump into a gift/toys/stuff-melee head first and never question it.
But after I read Leo’s post, I got to thinking about last year when I had a ton of presents for my kids. They had fun, yes, but they absolutely did not enjoy each-and-every gift. How could they? There were too many, and they simply ended up sitting in a large cardboard box, drawing on it.
I also started to try to figure out where this whole idea of “We have to have a ton of gifts on Christmas” idea came from. Growing up, I think it was my mother who was sad if she felt we didn’t have enough for us—gifts wise—at Christmas time. As an adult, I equated good motherhood with tons of gifts.
I even tried to set my ideas upon my husband and stepson several years ago. Misha’s tradition has been to give his son a significant gift for New Year’s Eve (it’s a leftover communist/socialist thing to get all the different ethnicities to celebrate the same day). From Misha’s perspective, several presents is over-kill, not to mention too much time, effort and energy.
But when I really thought about it, I realized that ONE gift from Deda Mraz, ONE nice gift from mom and dad, along with the stocking chackas is enough. More than enough. Definitely far beyond one gift only.
I’ll have the kids help me bake Irish Soda Bread for neighbors and their teachers. I still have time, since Serbian Christmas isn’t until January 6th. I’m also going to stay more alert to my tendency to buy my way to my kids’ heart. And, I’m going to try to keep these values in mind for 2013, a la the Buy Nothing Challenge.
For my Serbian friends waiting for Deda Mraz to come tomorrow, Srećna Nova Godina!
Happy New Year’s Eve! Stay safe and have a great night!