Sunday, December 18, 2011
These are shocking, but often we need to be shocked out of our complacency.
This is our second year of only giving gifts to children, and giving charity donations in the name of adults who we would otherwise be buying something. They don't need it, we don't need it. I feel so much better coming home from our Christmas celebration without huge piles of stuff I have to figure out what to do with. It's such a waste.
When I get tempted to buy something expensive and unnecessary for myself, I need to be shocked out of my desire. I need to remember that the cute throw pillow costs some persons month's or two months' salary.
Do I still really want it? I sure as heck don't need it.
Almost anything we need can be bought secondhand. We found Indiana a handmade solid oak extendable bed for 60 euros. You could get secondhand solid pine Ikea beds for next to nothing. (In retrospect we should have just bought one of those, because now I have to paint the beautiful oak BRIGHT RED, because I've promised so...)
You could furnish a whole home with second hand furniture. You could clothe a baby with stuff just from my neighborhood emmaus charity shop.
We all just have too much already. So what is a necessity?
A secure home, not large.
Food, not macrobiotic or low carbohydrate or low fat or low sugar -just any available food, with enough variety to cover our nutritional needs.
Clothing, not fashionable or expressive of our individuality but to keep us warm and covered.
Hygiene products, not diamond dust and caviar creams, lash perms and anti-frizz serums, just plain soap and some toothpaste will do. And deodorant please.
Some basic furniture to cook food with and sleep in.
I know I so often go beyond what is a necessity. I can justify it if it's either a secondhand purchase, a fair trade product or supporting an artisan. But just barely.
Because wanting and buying is not good for my soul.
I confess I spent way too much time looking for Indiana's bed, and then I just thought, "This is ridiculous. It's just a bed. Get something cheap, durable and close by for easy pick up."
And I did. And Indiana was thrilled with it.
And given the amount of children's beds already out there I don't think anyone would need to buy a new one in a hundred years.