I am reading Little House in the Big Woods to Abraham who will be seven in January. I think this is probably the 4th or 5th time reading the Little House Series.
A tingling feeling always spreads through my body as I read the section in the book where Mary and Laura are so thrilled to receive a tin cup (so they now have their own cup), a candy cane, a small cake, and a penny.
We have come so far away from simple pleasures and I include our family in many ways. Our children and I am sure myself as well are continually bombarded with messages of new stuff, nice stuff, updated stuff - that is just what you do.
In many ways Mike and I reject this message by rarely buying new. We and our children find joy in finding usable, needed items at recycling for instance. On Thanksgiving night we all watched a movie by hooking up Isaac's lap top to the projector he found at recycling and showing it on an old saved shower curtain stretched out and hung on the wall.
I wonder where the line is drawn between thrift and environmental and fair wage concerns. If we inherited a huge sum of money, for example, would our frugal ways hold fast. I hope that they would. We talk often about what a cheap little something made in China really costs. We talk about what is lost when local businesses close. We talk about where that plastic something will end up when it breaks down. We talk about how stuff is for the most part meaningless unless it is a tool or provides beauty. We talk about why we pay more for local and often organic food - why we are willing to pay $70.00 for a Thanksgiving turkey but not buy new toys or a new television to watch DVDs.
So this Christmas my hope is that the gifts we exchange are a token of our love for one another - and reflect thought, care, and in many cases the time that was invested in the making.