Un-resolution.

A flier for discounted gym memberships arrives with my mail, and a coupon for new storage bins arrives in my inbox, reminders that I am inadequate, that there are so many things that I need to fix. My post-baby body, my less-than-vegan-sometimes-french-fry-laden diet, my closet cluttered with art supplies and un-filed paperwork, my impulse to … Continue reading Un-resolution.

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Fathers.

I remember a dad handing me flowers after a school play, driving me to a speech tournament at the crack of dawn on a Saturday, cheering from the sidelines, and crying at both my graduation and my shotgun wedding. My Alzheimer's-plagued dad remembers that he's supposed to remember me, but he doesn't know my name. … Continue reading Fathers.

How do you part with books?

I'm behind on a couple of work projects, but a photo of my home is the first Google hit for "squalor." I can't think when the house is a wreck. The piles and pandemonium seep into my brain and scatter my thoughts in every which direction. I don't need it to be perfect; I just … Continue reading How do you part with books?

No-buy Christmas rule #4: The candles and calendars of advent.

---Hope--- The present is not so grim that one can only hope that the days to follow are better than today. A warm home. Food on the table. Clothing. Safety. Education. Blessings touch every day in every corner of the world. But such needs are not yet met for everyone. The world holds men and … Continue reading No-buy Christmas rule #4: The candles and calendars of advent.

No-buy Christmas rule #3: Have super mature, kickass children.

Admittedly, this one might have taken some advance planning (i.e., trying to instill thoughtfulness in my kids since the day they each arrived in my life) and some "nature" that has nothing to do with what I like to tout as my super awesome parenting skills. I haven't fully explained the no-buy concept behind our … Continue reading No-buy Christmas rule #3: Have super mature, kickass children.

No-buy Christmas rule #2: Invite friends over to make something beautiful.

My bedroom closet is overflowing with art and craft supplies just waiting for a project. A no-buy Christmas sounds like just the project. To kick off the decorating, I let the kids invite their friends over to string cranberries (Thanksgiving leftovers) and popcorn (a staple snack around here) for our tree. The more kids, the … Continue reading No-buy Christmas rule #2: Invite friends over to make something beautiful.

No-buy Christmas rule #1: Break the no-buy rule and buy a tree.

It's a lame excuse, but it just wouldn't feel quite like Christmas without the tree. Our family's tradition is to go cut our tree down the weekend after Thanksgiving, and we did it again this year, despite our no-buy policy for the year. For the past several years, we've made our tree more responsible, and … Continue reading No-buy Christmas rule #1: Break the no-buy rule and buy a tree.