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In Praise of Missing Out

This JOMO post (or its likeness) has crossed my radar a few times this week... One person said, "Yes! This is me!" while another said, "This is so not me! But I long for the desire to embrace it!" To all the FOMOs, the Maximizers, the Overachievers out there... there is no better time to try to embrace this than right now during the holidays. 

Never Enough

We've listened to the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman countless times in my house (or, as my music app tells me: around 30), and the chorus of this song — "Never Enough" — keeps ringing through my head. The song itself is about love (ie. without you, all the amazing things in the world will never be enough), but as we head into the busiest shopping season of the year, I feel like "Never Enough" is the battle cry of retail marketing.

Death to the $20 Purchase

I’ve used this line before, but it deserves repeating, because things that are $20 and under are so. easy. to. buy. They are like the silent killer of your bank account or credit card bill, IF you’re not paying attention. Photo: Whipping Post I ran a booth once for dignify at a big Christmas market, and right across from us was a candle seller. Here I was, with these beautiful, hand-crafted items that were colorful and rich with an amazing story behind them. “People online love our blankets!” I thought to myself. “So many people purchase them as gifts; selling them here is going to be fun & easy!” While I was setting up our booth, I glanced over at the candle shop. Jars of candles. Candles shaped like a banana loaf with 3 wicks. No special scent. No interesting story. Just simple, $15 candles. “Will people buy these things?” I wondered. The answer, it became clear, was a resounding YES.

Live Good: Why Turning Off Notifications has Vastly Improved My Life

About 2/3 of Americans & Canadians own a smartphone, and in this crowd, I know that number is much higher. I am one of them, of course, and I am very thankful for the little computer in my pocket. It allows me to work on the fly, take photos for business & pleasure, and do a zillion other wonderful things (like call my mom). The oppression of these devices is a well-trodden path, but regardless of how many convicting videos you watch, it’s much easier philosophized than done when it comes to cutting the chain between us & our phones. This past year, I have experimented with limiting the notifications on my phone, and I can tell you that has been a huge, healthy step in the right direction!

How to Gently Share a Vision of a Different Kind of Christmas Giving

In our Reader Survey a couple of months back, we received some excellent suggestions about blog posts related to the holidays: Ethical Christmas shopping ideas and gifts. Yep, love it, coming up soon! [update: here it is! 50 Ethical Businesses & Social Enterprises with Gifts that Give Back] Ways to approach Christmas gift-giving when you have children and you want them to be more others-focused. Fantastic question! See here and here for a start... How to graciously tell someone that you want to receive an ethical gift at Christmas instead of something that you don't want or don't have room to store. Or, how to graciously change large family gift giving practices at Christmas/ keep it fun for the kids but avoid excess and unnecessary spending. (Avoid being the Scrooge:)) Tough one! And, what a great question. Managing expectations with gift-giving & -receiving, limiting “stuff” without raining on the parade, being gracious and thankful… these are all big challenges of the season!  There are some clear challenges out of the gate: It is (almost always) challenging to have conversations about expectations with family. Period! Whether the topic is gifts, time spent together, traditions, philosophy on child rearing… except in the most thoroughly functional and communicative of families, we can expect a bit of tension going into a conversation like this. It is a fine line to walk when telling someone else what kind of gift to get you! Gifts are, by very nature, an outpouring of the gift-giver’s generosity and desire to share their kindness and love (in theory, at least). Particularly if you are wanting a specifically ethical gift (fair trade, organic, Made in USA, etc.), these items are less widely available, often more pricey, and more work to obtain. So, with that in mind, and an opportune time approaching, how do you talk about this???

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