Crafter’s Conundrum

So in case you haven’t noticed, I’m crafty. Also a geek. But something been making it a little tricky for me to be crafty. I’m also…

…a minimalist.

DUN DUN DUNNNN

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Life After iPhone

A few months ago I told you guys about how I was dumping my smartphone, mostly due to feeling addicted to it but with cost as a pretty big factor.

It’s been an interesting experience, especially after a gift I received on Christmas.
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Easy Homemade Christmas Gifts

Last week, we talked about why it’s worth trying to make Christmas easier and less stressful, and I loved hearing examples in the comments of how you’ve gotten your holiday to run smoother.

This week, let’s talk about some of the nitty gritty: presents. Like I said last week, this isn’t about going cold turkey and not giving anything or celebrating, but about finding a balance that works within time and budget restrictions, so you can have the best holiday (however you define “best”).

Here are a few of my favorite inexpensive things to give, and I’d love to hear more ideas from you in the comments!
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2013 Idea: Make Christmas Simpler and Less Stressful

It’s officially the new year, and all of our Christmas decorations have been put away for the year as everyone starts working (or, by this point, giving up on) their new year’s resolutions.

But before we finish packing away the holiday until next winter, I’d like to talk about it bit.

I don’t know about you, but the holidays are stressful for me. It was fun as a kid, but as an adult there’s a whole lot of questions to be asked each season:

  • who should I buy for?
  • how much should I spend on each person?
  • what should I ask for? As an adult I can generally purchase any small item that I want and the big things I’m saving up for are much more expensive than what I could ask for from someone else. But asking for cash toward those big goals seems crass.
  • what should I get for other adults, since they’re generally in the same boat?
  • how do I deal with the discomfort from one person spending obviously a lot more than another?

There’s so much focus on the presents, shopping for said presents, and cleaning up afterward that it’s hard to really enjoy the season of spending time with those I care about.

This year I felt both ends of the discomfort spectrum; on one hand, I got some small things from one person that I don’t need, or even necessarily want, but would feel guilty giving away. So they’ll sit around and gather dust. On the other hand, The Geek’s parents were ridiculously generous and gave their kids and me an iPad mini, but I hadn’t realized I was supposed to buy them anything. So the present is very functional and appreciated, but I feel tension since they spent so much money on me.

I’d thought before that maybe it was just me that is frustrated by how we do holidays since I’ve had some unfortunate experiences around gift giving, but I’m noticing that there’s a growing conversation about how we can change to have a simpler, less stressful Christmas that doesn’t suck the life out of you by the middle of December.

With a small amount of personal experience and what I’ve gathered from reading lots of blogs, here’s the some advice for an easier Christmas:
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Summer of 1000 Things (Alternate Version)

When I saw Minimalist Living’s post The Summer of 1000 Things, it immediately piqued my interest. It’s only been six months since I moved but already I’m noticing that I have extra stuff piling up, and a good summer clean out seems like a great idea. Continue reading