Well, I have to tell you … a few things have changed around here this year which have brought so much peace and tranquility to the Holiday Season. So, naturally, I am going to attribute each of these “things” to my Minimal Challenge so as to hype its life-changing benefits. Like snake oil, if you will.
The first amazing feat is that I believe I am 99% done with my Christmas shopping. Here, on December 12. With the exception of one or two gifts that I just have to pick up, I really think I’m done. Unprecedented. Typically, I’m closing down the mall on Christmas Eve, just trying to find something for everyone. And then, I still end up returning home to print out Internet photos of the gifts I planned to buy but couldn’t find. IOUs for Christmas. Nice. But not this year, my friends. By virtue of the fact that my life is now somewhat organized (thanks to my minimization efforts), and the fact that we actually set a realistic budget this year–which forced us to plan ahead–we made a list, checked it twice, and shopped according to plan.
And, speaking of rushing around the mall … I managed to do 100% of my shopping without leaving this Island. Which is *really* saying something when I tell you I’m also shopping within a budget. I love to support my local proprietors, but let’s just tell it like it is … they’re not exactly pricing themselves to compete … with anyone. The only items that I purchased online were “Made on a Mac,” and had to be produced elsewhere. Otherwise, I really think I found everything locally. Another of my efforts to vote with my wallet and keep local funds local.
My Christmas cards are all written, addressed, and sitting on the counter awaiting stamps. This might actually count as a miracle given the fact that I have yet to send out my daughter’s birth announcements. She’s four. This, I can only attribute to the fact that my house is so minimized that I don’t have to spend my weekends wading through the laundry room anymore … now I can spend them relaxing on the couch amidst the twinkling glow of Christmas lights, writing sweet notes to loved ones while listening to the jolly sounds of Christmas tunes.
Aah, Minimal Challenge, how I love thee.