Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Gifting & Gratitude

My son asked me a couple weeks ago what I wanted for my birthday. Over the past few years, our Solstice celebrations have become less and less about giving presents and more about connecting so gifting for the holidays isn't something we are all that concerned about. But, when he asked me about my birthday I told him that I really didn't want for anything and that I didn't want him to buy me a thing. He persisted so I sat for a moment and thought about what I could really use.

This past year I've purged a lot of my possessions. Everything from clothes to furniture to high school yearbooks. My collection of books now fits neatly into one medium sized box. Everything that I own fits into the trunk of my car, with maybe a bag or two in the back seat. I guess you could call me a minimalist.

So, I ended up telling my son that I could use a new hoodie. (It's practical and something I would most definitely use.) What I got was a meal with him and our family at a traditional Japanese ramen restaurant in downtown Portland and it was absolutely perfect.

Gifting is awesome but the idea of bringing something new into my space that I most likely won't use, and will have to find a new home for, kind of makes me crazy at this point. I don't want or need stuff these days. Specially with a couple more big moves and a tiny house in my future. I like the idea of being mobile. Compact.

A meal with my family, one on one time with close friends, kind words, a thoughtful letter or email sent my way or even something handmade that's useful (like a bookmark)...these are the things that I want these days. Memories, love and relationship are the gifts that I am most grateful for every day of the year. These are the things that make me wealthy. I treasure them and hold them close to my heart.

Spending the last year focusing on what I'm grateful for has helped me to shift my perspective on so many things. I'm much more at peace with my life and the way I choose to live it than I ever was before. I choose a simple life filled with the love of my family and a few close friends. Those are all the gifts I need.


  1. I love it! Next year I want to skip gifts and instead spend money on a trip. I love gifts, but experiences are even better.

  2. I am in the middle of letting go of all sorts of things. It is hard in the doing, easy in the done. I never really up-sized. Now, I need guide-books for my new location and a frying pan and probably a bed, as I do not own one. Otherwise, things are not interesting to me at all. Like you, I have some big moves in my future.

    Happy birthday. May the year be gentle and kind. (My new year's wish, but I think it can be applied to birthdays as well.)

    earthandink (Blogger has decided that wordpress doesn't exist and is making me anonymous. But it is, indeed, me.)

    1. And then it makes a tale-teller of me. At least the comment made it up!

    2. HA! Oh Blogger. It's been a bit finicky lately for some reason. I'd move over to WordPress but it just seems like such a big undertaking at the moment.

      Thank you for the birthday wishes! I hope your letting go of things works out just as you hope. It is hard in the doing but once it's done, it's so incredibly freeing.

    3. WordPress is in the middle of modernizing everything (read as simplifying) and, I'm not sure exactly it is going on there.

      My problem is books. I have a hard time opening my hands when they are clenched around a book.

    4. I seem to be having that very same issue myself lately.