Meaningful Holidays


stopToday’s post is really a #repost from one of my favorite Podcasts, The Minimalists. I’ve talked about minimalism before, the theme being, “To Live a Meaningful Life of Less“. Or the intentional use of your resources (time, talent, attention), being deliberate with it. You decide what “less” means, for you. Your less looks different from my less. In this particular episode, Joshua & Ryan (the authors) talk about creating a meaningful holiday season. What does a meaningful holiday season look like for you??! I encourage you think about, then CREATE that!

12/15 update: Minimalism documentary is now available on Netflix!

As I listened, I answered the questions discussed in the podcast (in gray).

  • How do you get into the holiday spirit with all the everyday challenges of life, as well as the constant bombardment of holiday advertising? Getting into the holidays has never been a challenge for me. This is my FAVORITE time of year, mostly because I like the sparkle of the season. I’m that girl that wants to put her tree up super early. When it comes to advertising, I usually ignore it – that’s a skill. Not just during the holidays but in everyday life. Learn to ignore things that are a waste of your time or provide no value to you. Now, typically, if I see something I think I like/want, I always watch reviews on YouTube or read a blog post – it’s free advice! Or you can buy from Nordstrom and feel confident that you can return it if you change your mind.
  • How do you avoid succumbing to the overconsumption of alcohol amid all the pressures of the holiday season? Again, never really an issue; but, find something you can do to avoid putting yourself in this situation. Don’t hang around people who  you tend to drink around or worry around or think bad thoughts around. For the most part, you control your environment. Pick a new one. Looked at in another way, what do you overconsume? Lately my nmesis has been shopping for beauty products. I live it, breathe it, watch videos about it, read more reviews, etc. all day. Unless I find an alternative “thing to do.” I got out of this expensive rut by starting a new series on Netflix, Narcos. It’s sssooo very good and takes my mind off of my current short-term obsession with beauty products and skin care. So, the answer  for me was to find something else to do that’s just as fun!


  • How do you discuss with your family that you want to replace holiday traditions that no longer add value to your family’s holiday season? This one is golden because this year my family is doing just that! I/We have been talking about taking a trip during the holidays instead of giving gifts for YEARS (so there was a very LONG warming up period). This year I decided to reduce one of the barriers for my family and also suggested we only buy gifts for kids (no adults). We discussed, they semi-bought in and then I began to build excitement around the alternative. Once your family buys in, then YOU can do the work to CREATE the experience that provides more value.

I encourage you to listen to the episode and answer these questions for yourself as well. Really think about what a #meaningfulholiday looks like for you and what adds value to your life. Own it and go after it.  #HappyHoildays


Online Tracking

Have you ever wondered how a website (i.e. Facebook) knows what you searched for on another website, (i.e. Macy’s)? Yahoo Tech explains the fundamentals of Online Tracking. Loosely, 

“First, When you visit a visit a Web site that contains ads, those ads leave behind text files on your computer called ‘tracking cookies’. These files contain a combination of letters and numbers — kind of like a license plate on steroids — that identify your particular browser on your particular computer. Next, When you visit a new Web page, the machines that deliver ads check your cookies, find your unique ID, and record information about your online behavior.”

urlThis is exactly  what the term Targeted Advertising means: The ads  (or pop-ups) you see are personalized based on what you do online – your search history. Chrome, Google, Safari all know your likes and dislikes because you have told them! Yes, your browser is stalking you. Yes, your browser is stalking you. Yes, your browser is stalking you. The next obvious question is, Why do we see ads on (almost) every site? Money, of course! The people who place those ads and successfully “target” or “lure” you into re-visiting the site where you saw that handbag get paid – for every click and even more for every purchase! There are no ads on because I am not running this site for monetary gain – at the moment, it’s a just hobby.

Lots of people use browser ad-ons like AdBlock Plus to prevent this type of tracking – just be aware that AdBlock may also prevent pop-up windows on sites like banks and that you’ll have to manually check the option to “Always Allows” pop-ups from these sites. Often times there are options to “opt-out” ads if you look closely (just like the Unsubscribe feature most people miss at the very bottom of emails.