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by Tsh

Tsh is the founder of this blog and is currently traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

winter wonderland

Our 2014 (simple) holiday gift guide

“As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December’s bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same.” -Donald E. Westlake

Gift-giving doesn’t come naturally to me. Perhaps it’s because it’s not high on my “love languages” (I’m the type that’ll just go get it myself if I need it), I often feel a bit deer-in-the-headlights when it’s time to make those purchases. (Gift wrapping, however, is another story. Give me a roll of paper, some tape and a movie marathon, and I’m good to go.)

I’ve mentioned before that we’re a three-gift family, at least for the kids—no specific reason, really (if we’re in a spiritual mood we’ll say it’s to remember the three gifts given to Jesus), but this tradition has paid us in dividends. The kids know every year how many gifts to expect, and it gives us grownups a finish line to our buying. Three gifts, three kids. Done.

Consider starting a tradition like this, if you haven’t yet (I know quite a few families who follow the “something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read” practice as well). It tempers the “I wants,” and it gives you peace of mind.

It puts gift-giving and receiving in its rightful spot: just one thing of many that makes the Christmas season special.

I’ve spent the past few weeks putting together a gift guide for you—a collection of simple gift ideas that help you purchase thoughtfully. In my opinion, these things aren’t too cluttery, they support solid businesses, and they’re neither overpriced nor so-cheap-they-break.

These are gifts I’d be happy with, in other words. And they’re gifts I’ll actually be giving this year.

A Simple Holiday Gift Guide—lots of clutter-free gift ideas for kids, tweens & teens, grandparents, and more.

Head here to check out the blog’s Simple Holiday Gift Guide.

And? We’d really appreciate you doing your online shopping through the links we provide in the guide. When you make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, you help keep this blog running. We love doing what we do here, encouraging and championing the simpler life. Thank you for your faithfulness as a reader! I’m grateful to call you friends. Y’all are the best.

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fall colors

Grace before

Whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday, remember to give thanks for the many blessings in your life.

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winter berries

Favorite Advent resources

I love the Advent season. There’s something special about the anticipation of something, about enjoying the destination towards a grand event. Advent comes from the Latin word that means “arrival”—it’s the anticipation of a notable person, thing, or event. It always sneaks up on me, and it’s especially true this year—with American Thanksgiving later in (read more…)

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wheat sky

Weekend links

Ten thoughts on hosting Thanksgiving :: Shauna Niequist Simplicity, productivity, and the personal uniform :: Modern Mrs. Darcy Hospitality. But not the kind you’re thinking of :: The Nester A simple blessing to encourage hope :: Chatting at the Sky On returning home {Apple & Fennel Stuffed Salmon with Cider Sauce} :: Simple Bites … (read more…)

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students

What would you tell a young twenty-something about simple living?

It’s unfathomable that next summer will be my 20th high school reunion. Because last I checked, I’m still living in an apartment with three other girls, drinking a daily dose of Dr. Pepper and listening to The Cranberries while stressing over that geology final. Apparently not, according to the three people calling me Mom every (read more…)

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