Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Up for another challenge?

I'm not even sure I'm ready for this challenge, but it's intriguing nonetheless...

I read an article the other day in Good Housekeeping. It was written by a Portland woman who decided to take her family (including children) "on a shopping hiatus — to tame our impulse buying and refocus our energy on things that gave all of us greater contentment. In a word: happiness. Or the quest for it."

Socks, for example. She taught her family how to darn socks so they would not need to buy new.

They washed all their baggies, saran wrap, tin foil, etc. and used them till they could be used no more.

How 'bout vacuum bags? Emptying and reusing them makes sense, doesnt' it?

You get the picture.

Here's what intrigued me about their efforts: making due. Learning to live without new socks or a new pair of jeans or a less obnoxious dishwasher. Working with what you have to create something new, something different, something exciting. Teaching our children that "store-bought" isn't always better.

Sounds like a New Year's resolution that lasts approximately 37.5 hours. Grandiose, but just too dang difficult to pull off on a daily basis.

I, for one, don't have the time to darn socks (although with my girls' abhorrence of most socks, I'd do well to mend the ones they actually wear.) Nor do I think I'd succeed a whole year without stopping for a McDonald's Coke or buying pretty new fabric or paper.

Or going to Target. 'Cause we all know that Target is just the coolest and there's way too many things we all want as we push our plastic red carts in and out of aisles filled with things that make us happy.

So here's what I'm thinking, my challenge to all my readers...

The money-sucking, time-grabbing, Pepto-demanding holidays. Is it possible to not spend money? Not entirely, I'm sure, but here's what those magazine parents did...

They joined with other families and together, they exchanged unwanted or unneeded items from around their homes.

Imagine the possibilities! Last year's cell phone; a digital camera that's been replaced; an outgrown bike; camping supplies no longer used; forgotten cds and outgrown dvd's... Are you seeing the opportunity here yet?

Here's the challenge I'm presenting you with. Who's up for a holiday gift co-op? A save-the- earth-and-our-bank-accounts-and-our children's-morals collective? The official regifting society?

I'm serious here! Doesn't this sound awesome? I *really* want to do this. Who'll do it with me?

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