Even before I had a name and mounds of websites explaining it, I have been obsessing about the simple stuff. This year was all about simplyfing, simplicity, and so on.
Call it what you want, environmentalism, cheapness, reducing modern life stress…
Oh well, the holidays are coming. Despite the fact that I never celebrated Thanksgiving (or Halloween, for that matter), and that I’m away from my family (for the 6th straight year), I like the holidays. But I’m not looking forward to running around, singing carols, shopping, cooking, eating, getting fat, getting crazy, getting stuff.
Part of the problem is that I am not making money enough to shower my friends with gifts, but also I worked very hard on decluttering my house all year long to get caught in the whole thing.
I don’t know if I’m being too radical, but I’m not alone: turns out I found some friends who are gonna advocate for Other websites (thanks, God) also have the same drift: buynothingchristmas and hundreddollarholidays.
So I’m seriously thinking about going tree-hugger on my friends and kinda preaching about my philosophy on acceptable gifts – I still like gifts, mind you.
This is a summary of whatever the radically simple people out there might suggest you give this Christmas and that I’m taking for my birthday (wink, wink) since I’ll have a kick-ass party at Franklin’s.

No-gift gifts


The moderates start the list with buyables, but they should be fair trade and everything, or consumables, like tea or coffee or chocolate, hmmmm, chocolate! Oh, and Vertigo has nice books always on sale – this is a little off-topic, but I just like them, they are a nice neighborhood store.


yours – Yes, I want your stuff. If you don’t use it and think I’ll like it, tell me why and I’ll be happy to have something to remember you by.
thrift – Instead of buying something new, buy something at valuevillage or a garage sale, I’ll still appreciate it as long as it doesn’t smell musty (and it usually doesn’t if it is a thrift store, they are careful about this stuff). A book (with a nice dedication, please) or a cd (cd exchange, right next to the gyro place) are good choices.
swap – I’m thinking about holding a swap party to exchange odds and ends (not as gifts, just as a recycling effort). There’s always an outgrown sweater, the odd china, I don’t know. Ellen, help me here.

home made

I don’t really like the idea of going Martha on holidays, because it only adds to the end-of-year stress. Who wants to slave over arts and crafts if – let’s be sincere – they are not gonna look that great afterwards? Unless, of course, it’s something you do well and easily, like a compilation of your favorite songs or a notebook with recipes so easy even I can cook (there’s a challenge!) or printed pictures of all the parties we went to this last year…


teach – C’mon, teach me, tiger. There are so many things I can’t do: sing, cook, do laundry…
be my slave – Offer to cook for me, fix my computer or drive me around. I promise I won’t be too demanding. And it doesn’t have to be now, during the holidays.
quality time – Let’s spend some time together… No, really, let’s have dinner somewhere, go walking, talk, have tea.


photos – Print me pictures. Add funny captions.
cds – Compile those tunes. No pagode, pleeeease.
performance – Sing for me! Write me a card!
artwork – But no breakables.
displays of affection – Give me a hug, for God’s sake!!! It doesn’t sound like it, but I’m pretty easy to please…