Last week I was working at the mall when a mother and daughter came in to shop for some new clothes. While the mother was browsing, the daughter began a small stack of clothes that she had set behind the counter. Then, she went on to try on a bunch of clothes for her mother and briefly mentioned in the dressing room, “Oh, I have stuff up at the counter too.”

Once they got to the check out line and mom sees the other pile of accumulated merchandise she exclaims, “You’re getting all of THAT too?!”


“Okay, well that’s about it for Christmas then.”

“Are you serious…?” (que whining)

And there went $600 to a teenager’s wardrobe. Cha-ching.

Merry Christmas.

Anyway, that story leads well into a something I read recently at Where My Heart Resides. Jen Hatmaker wrote a wonderful blog about the Christmas conundrum many of us experience. She started a gift-giving policy for her family: something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read. That’s it. Simple. And our “wants” and “needs” don’t have to be material things. I want to make dinner and watch a movie with my parents. I want to go to yoga and grab coffee with my friend. I need to go serve the homeless in my city. I need to spend time with my refugee friends. Someone “getting” or initiating those gifts for me would be incredibly special and low-budget. The gifts of time and experiences are always the best and the longest lasting. I want to make it a goal to give those gifts more frequently, but especially during the holiday season rather than dealing with crowds and the stress that comes with spending big $$$. But, if and when you’re purchasing gifts this season buy what you can LOCALLY. Most of what you can get on Amazon or at Target you can also find in independently-owned stores. It puts your taxes to good use, creates jobs, reduces environmental impact, supports non-profits, and keeps your community unique. Money spent in a locally owned business stays in the community. It’s definitely an investment worth pursuing!


Something she wants: Flowerbomb Parfume by Viktor & Rolf, Le Creuset Skillet (found at Kitchen Collage), Yoga Unmat (found at Lulu Lemon), One Line a Day Journal (found at Ephemera)

Something she needs: Liquitex paints (found at Creative Cold Sno), BareMinerals Foundation in Medium, Warby Parker prescription sunglasses: Thatcher in Greystone

Something she wears: Journey’s Women’s Oxford Shoes, I Heart Iowa Necklace, Fair Isle Open Stitch Sweater, Too Faced Lip Color

Something she reads: Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling, Whole Living Magazine subscription, The Story of God, The Story of Us by Sean Gladding, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn