i first came across this book on tonia’s site. i then brought the book home from the library and the second it hit the coffee table elisha and asher thought it was for them. it’s a rather small book. perfect for their little hands, i suppose. so for a couple of weeks i didn’t even touch it, except for removing it from toy piles and random corners of the house. and i started to grow skeptical of it. could such a cute (for lack of a better word) book that my boys are obsessed with have anything to say?
i eventually hid the book by my bed and read it. and it was good. i have a couple of quibbles with it but overall i like mckibben’s approach in hundred dollar holiday. he gives a brief history of christmas and then focuses on celebrating christmas in a way that isn’t dominated by money and spending and exhaustion. mckibben challenges us to find a new way to celebrate. and he is gentle in the way he goes about discussing this. his family committed to spending only 100 dollars on christmas. but he sees this as an exciting thing – a way to force you to be creative in what you give and how you give it. he encourages us to find an amount of money that would work for our family and see it as a challenge. a good challenge.
i’m always coming across articles, blogs, interviews where people talk about how they want a simpler, cheaper, more meaningful christmas. so much so that my eyes can start to glaze over. you hear a lot about this but don’t see too many people doing anything different (myself included). but this book’s simplicity (perhaps even it’s size?) has been encouraging. it’s not rocket science to figure out but setting monetary boundaries takes commitment. and figuring out what you’ll do instead takes creativity. i’ve committed to put my new-found crocheting/knitting/sewing skills to some use this year and am happy to do so. omar and i are starting to talk more about all of this. hopefully it won’t just be talk.