My husband makes fun of me because I like to save things like ribbons, beautiful packaging, and shopping bags. I insist that I will need them again and he usually doubts me. I’d say we are both right.
I have a lot of admiration for graphic designers that create beautiful logos and packaging; they are like little pieces of art to me. Of course at one point you have to get rid of “stuff”. I had to select what would stay, and what would go, in a massive house clean-up that took up the month of October. I decided to keep some ribbons in a beautiful pink box. I use them to decorate gift bags and tie them into bows that adorn the Christmas tree.
As I tied a ribbon to our wreath for the front door today, I couldn’t help but enjoy how it’s simplicity transformed the wreath.
This act also made me think about my grandpa who passed years ago. His credo was “waste not, want not”. My grandpa believed that items should get used as much as possible before being replaced. Surviving the war and difficult times that followed taught my grandparents to live with much less than we are used to. He used to tape his belt together when it broke and absolutely refused to buy a new one. At the time I couldn’t understand his frugality. I wondered how he could walk around with tape on his belt when a replacement could be purchased for so little! Years later I was there for the historic moment when he caved and bought a new belt, on sale of course.
Now the protection of our planet is forcing a new appreciation for needing and wanting less. At a holiday party last night, I over heard several people expressing their desire to replace gift-giving with shared experiences. “We aren’t doing gifts this year, I am taking my children to see a live show” or “Our budget is going towards an upcoming family vacation instead.” My family has slowly scaled back over the years because we want the holidays to be about being together, without the stress of finding the perfect glee-inspiring gifts, or worrying that you bought the right item, or spent enough money.
I don’t think we will give up gifts completely, but for me the warmest moments during the holidays are about enjoying the traditions. Sometimes its the act of taking something out of a box once a year, and appreciating the memories that come with it.
What are the holiday traditions that you love most?