Simplify the Holidays: Take the Pledge



When you have kids, it quickly becomes apparent that, just like the arms race of the Cold War, the proliferation of junk in the “Stuff War” is an unwinnable battle. I have enlisted my family (only somewhat reluctantly) on the quest to reduce the amount of stuff that we use and accumulate. Wonder why that’s important? If you haven’t seen it, here is the Story of Stuff (below). Viewer discretion is advised.

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The crazy accumulation of stuff pervades our society, but it’s something that can be stopped locally. It’s why, often to the chagrin of my kids, I harp on trying to reduce as much as we can. I hope that we can turn the focus away from stuff and more towards family, even with the drama that this so often includes. I feel this way even more so during the holidays. 


If you’re looking for help rejiggering your family’s approach to stuff, The Center for the New American Dream is a terrific resource. This nonprofit has been trying to reorient our relationship with consumption by helping folks get their priorities straight and hopefully live happier, more stress-free lives. Their Simplify the Holidays Pledge is a great place to start. Just select a few things you’ll commit to do in the next week AND the next year. I took the pledge, and here’s what I’m planning to do:


  1. Offer to teach a skill.
  2. Skip the gimmicky commercial gifts.
  3. Shop for secondhand items.
  4. Ignore ads.
  5. Give back to my community.


Please leave a comment with your five or more pledges, and share this pledge with friends. Stop the stuff race, and have a happier holiday!


Chief Mammal @ The Money Mammals