“Happy Holidays”…

“From Our House to Your House!”

Okay…after watching the “madness” of Black Friday and Small Business Saturday and not really partaking in it to any degree…I am thinking about how to shop this season without breaking the bank and without letting my adrenalin kick in too much when I enter a store with the holiday hum playing in my head.

Over the years I have found that Christmas Shopping has become more about consumerism than about giving. I like to buy gifts for my family and friends that I would like to receive myself and I do enjoy giving. So do not get me wrong when I suggest something really drastic this holiday.

I read this blog post from Leo after “Black Friday”. “Zen Habits” is a blog that I follow pretty regularly. If nothing else Leo keeps me thinking about trying to keep life simple and meaningful. Now I realize that Leo makes his living from this philosophy but I find his approach soothing when life gets chaotic around me.

These days between Thanksgiving and Christmas can and often do get very hectic. I find that I have to plan any trips to the mall very carefully so that I can actually enjoy the Holiday spirit rather than get into the frustration mode of trying to find an item and then find a way to pay for it.

I am not a DIY person but I admit to baking cookies and cakes for Holiday gifts and including gift cards along with them.

Who does not like homemade sweets and gift cards?

My problem with gift cards is making the right choice so they do not expire or get lost before getting used.

How do you handle holiday buying and giving…what tips do you have for making it a happy hassle?

And if you are wondering about my “friend” Leo’s approach and his challenge…here it is…a bit dramatic but mostly meaningful!

And so today I extend a challenge to all of you, and the world: Buy Nothing Until 2013.

Yes, I’m taking Buy Nothing Day and extending it through the end of the year.

Why the hell would you want to do this challenge?

Do it as a protest against consumerism and corporate influences on our lives. Do it as a tool for contentment, for simplicity. Do it to reclaim the holidays as a time of connection and love, not of buying and debt. Do it just to see if you can.

And yes, you can still do it if you’ve already done some Black Friday shopping. We’ll forgive our past sins and start afresh. :)

via » Challenge: Buy Nothing Until 2013 :zenhabits.

Essentials of a good education in today’s world…

I have been a fan of Leo Babauta for several years since my husband introduced his blog to me. He is very relaxing to read and he speaks to my inner soul much of the time.

Yesterday…while looking through some of my Facebook updates, I came upon this post of Leo’s that I missed on his feed.

Although, I have never been a fan of homeschooling, I can definitely appreciate Leo’s comments on how we are educating or not educating our children to meet the challenges of the world in which they will live.

I hope that you enjoy this piece from Leo…please read his bio…it is impressive.

Let me know what you think…I would love to hear your feelings about home schooling…would love to have tried homeschooling but do not think I have or ever had the patience to undertake such a challenge.

How then to prepare our kids for a world that is unpredictable, unknown? By teaching them to adapt, to deal with change, to be prepared for anything by not preparing them for anything specific.This requires an entirely different approach to child-rearing and education. It means leaving our old ideas at the door, and reinventing everything.

via 9 Essential Skills Kids Should Learn, by Leo Babauta.