Another couple days have gone by and I can't help but think that this challenge is easier right now because it is during a holiday season where shopping for other things besides clothes is taking place. I was careful, however, to only buy my daughter 2 gifts and my son 1 large gift. I spent roughly seventy dollars on each of them and about 30 dollars on stocking stuffers. I do feel that is a reduction of what I have spent in the past and I look forward to the kids just opening a couple gifts and enjoying them rather than ripping open 8 or so gifts and then wondering why there aren't anymore.
Also, I went on a shopping trip with a friend the other day which was a lot of fun. Yes, we were participating in the commercialism around Christmas, but we both had a budget and a plan to spend significantly less than years prior. We turned what would have been completely commercial into an opportunity to learn more about each other. In a sense, we made Christmas about relationships and people and love rather than gifts themselves. It was nice.
On a totally different subject...when day 2 started I began to think of the clothes I already do have. In some sense I use clothing as a creative outlet. I like to put things together and change them around. I love scarves and hair clips and funky nail polish. But, because I couldn't shop for new things, I started thinking about what I could do with the things that I had. Can I take some of my plain t-shirts and turn them into completely different shirts by adding my own style and some paint and glitter? Could I cut those jean or put ribbon on that skirt? My mind started to really imagine all kinds of things that I could do with WHAT I HAD.
Hmmm, translation into real life...what can we do with what we do have beyond clothing? What can I do with family as they are now...just as they are? What can I do with the friends I have now just as they are, not after they have worked things out with themselves? What can I do with the skills I have right now, not when I learn this or that? What can I do with the money I have now, not when we make more? What this does is take the future out of the everyday. It forces a look at what is in front of me right now and even more than that, it makes me happy and grateful for what I have instead of bypassing that thought and searching for things outside of it.