Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Many questions... creating answers.

There have been many questions and comments that folks would like some clarification on... so I will do my best to satisfy those, but please know that I don't know all the answers and we are figuring some things out as we go along...

1) Gifts for holidays, birthdays, etc:
I am fortunate to be among friends who are on the same page as we are in regards to gifts - second hand is fine, even prefered. Another thing we do is give 'experiences' rather then toys, such as gift certificates to the movies, book store, zoo, science centre, bowling etc. Great, almost new toys can also be found at garage sales and second hand stores. We are trying to rethink what it means to honor someone, and get away from The Hallmark way of celebrating. It does require a bit of creativity and planning, and being a lot more thoughtful about our decisions.

2) Some people, rightfully so, are worried that if this catches on and more people by used, that the economy would fail. We know we are going to one extreme here. We have spent years, as a society, on the other end of the spectrum where new was better and 'enough' tasted like 'more'. So we are purposefully going to the other end of the spectrum to truly reevaluate what is essential and responsible ways to get it, so that next year we will be more clear about what we need and how to get it in ways that is good not only for our wallet, but also for the earth. When we do start buying again, we plan to support local as much as possible. There are some fantastic artisans and producers out there that aren't found in an aisle at the big box stores and we plan on supporting those people.

3) We know that we aren't the first to embark on this journey - thankfully for all of us there are a great many people challenging themselves to do more conscious living and less impulsive buying. We didn't start this challenge as a way to save money, but since my husband has been laid off it has taken a great deal of pressure off.

4) We don't feel we are being unfair to the children at all. We are all making sacrifices for this to work. The boys are really learning to focus on what they really DO want, instead of blowing in the marketing/media wind. Our 8 year old is so convinced he wants a Wii that he dreams about it, enters contests for it, and wakes his brother up in the middle of the night to talk about it! haha As a family we are being more active too - getting down on the floor together, going to the park etc. and THAT is what kids REALLY want... not the latest whatzit from the action aisle.


  1. My third grader loves buying 25 cent thrift shop toys so much that the biggest problem is now holding her back from getting any more. (I mean, just because they're cheap isn't a reason to have too much, right?) Her newest way around this is to explain to us that she's buying her whatevers (clothes, pets etc.) as presents for the other toys.


  2. I am so glad to see you doing this and getting the kids involved, as a socity we have forgoten what is most important, our family and friends. I am called extreamly frugal by friends but thats ok because its been a wake up call to them when I have asked how many hours did you have to work to buy that game you never play? for a new game most people have to work 4-5 hours, thats 4-5 hours they could have spent with there kids rather than getting the second job. people need to understand that "stuff" keeps us from the ones we love. My kids were given a wii but never use it because they would rather color or be out side. I wish you and your family the best and know your children will be better off for this.

  3. Honestly, if more people did this the economy would not fail...people would just be in less debt. Gasp! Live within our means? WHAT?! I am looooving your blog!!!