This week, there are two birthdays in my family, one very dear friend, and a reunion with my college roommate. Time to go shopping, right? No, my friends. No. I’ve managed to resist the urge to shower my loved ones with more material “stuff” to clutter their lives. Practicing what I preach. That’s what I *always* do …
Instead, I had two birthday lunch dates and spent hours catching up with my Mom and my niece. I’m planning to schedule a phone date with my long-lost friend in the very near future, so we can laugh at the juxtaposition of our parallel lives. And, on Friday, my daughter and I are visiting my college roommate (whom I have not seen since her wedding 12 years ago) and her daughter for a Princess Tea. Our daughters will get to make new friends, paint their fingernails, have their hair done (complete with sparkles and tiaras), dress up in fancy gowns, and pose for a photo shoot. Show me a four-year old girl who would not LOVE that. Meanwhile, my girlfriend and I will get to visit and catch-up on the years that have slipped us by.
Replacing material goods with relationships and memories. That’s the goal of this minimal challenge. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that if I can do this, you can too.
Let me be very clear … if I were a magical princess, my talent would be gift wrapping. I love giving gifts so much that I have perfected the art of gift wrapping. I think it brings me more joy to see perfectly-wrapped packages than to actually open the presents. In some cases, I may have spent more money on the wrapping paper than on the actual gift itself. So, minimizing my gift giving is a legitimate challenge. This week should have included several birthday gifts to give in person, a care package to my out-of-state friend, and a token of my love for my long-lost roommate. And a “nice-to-meet-you” gift for her daughter, right?
But, alas, it did not. Instead, this week is giving me ample opportunity to prepare for the holidays.
[Insert cliché about good things coming in small packages, or the equivalent of the best things coming in no packages … or Minimalism is the new black. Or … You don’t need gifts to have a good time. *Vows to work on tag line before the holidays.*]