This morning I turned on the TV to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade like I've done almost every year. I won't explain my frustration for all the Black Friday adverts or holiday hysteria that seems to drown out what should be the sentiment of today... because sadly it's not anything we're not used to at this point. Consumerism has been creeping up on Thanksgiving for years now, and we’ve all kind of become numb to it.
But what really has been bumming me out isn't just that Thanksgiving is being robbed, it's the obsession with materialism as a whole. At the risk of sounding self-righteous, I’ve experienced somewhat of a personal transformation in the last couple of years. Perhaps living out of a suitcase made me pause to reconsider how very little we actually need to survive, but I just can’t help but think that it’s not really worth the time or money or stress we put ourselves through every single year to buy things like candles or lipstick.
Don’t get me wrong— I think gifts can be a great way to show thoughtfulness to someone you love. And burning a great candle or getting a new lipstick are hardly sins- so by all means, enjoy them! But buying someone something they don’t really need (or sometimes, even really want) simply out of obligation I think is missing the point. And at the end of the day, I think we could all benefit from pausing before purchasing and asking “Do I actually need this?"
So as we're all tempted by the sales happening this weekend (there are some really great ones) I'd just encourage you to be a bit more mindful about what you and the people you love actually need this year rather than buying stuff just because it's a good price. Need some inspiration for smarter shopping? These are some items I genuinely believe are wise purchases that everyone needs (even when you're living out of a suitcase and can only carry the absolute essentials).
Okay, maybe not if you live in a sub-tropic climate… but for most of us at some point every year we need a proper coat to keep us warm in frigid temperatures. You can’t go wrong with a classic black down coat- and it doesn’t have to be expensive either. I’ve had my Michael Kors one like this (which is currently on sale) for over 4 years now and I still wear it almost every day in the winter- whether I’m dressed up or in gym clothes.
These picks are from NORDSTROM, which currently has an extra 20% OFF selected sale items, FREE shipping + FREE returns from 11/24 – 11/2.
These are some other good, classic coat options from J CREW that are 40% OFF now until 11/26.
Whether you work out often or not, we all need a good pair of trainers for days that we're on the go or walking a long distance (or if you just want to go easy on your feet). I lived in these Nike Lunar Apparent Women's Running Shoes (which are currently on sale) this year- whether running on the treadmill or walking around London or anywhere else in the world. I suggest the black + white because they give a neutral look you can wear not just with athleisure, but any casual outfit really.
Now at NIKE: Take an extra 25% off sales from 11/21 – 11/28
This may seem like it falls in the category of “fluff” or something we don’t really need… but I’d argue a journal is one of the best ways we can practice mindfulness. I never travel anywhere without mine- and I actually carry a few of them. One for prayer + practicing gratitude. One for recording memories and the names of places I visit when I travel so I don’t ever forget those precious details. And a third for jotting down work notes, to-do lists and general organization. Gifting someone a journal when they’re about to go on a big trip or if they’re going through a difficult season may be the sweetest thing you can give them. Write a note on the front cover that shares your intention or what your hope for them to get out of it is.
I could keep going, but there are lots of other needs that are really just going to vary according to each individual person. For me, I genuinely need really great luggage and travel accessories for how often I'm on the go (see below). For someone who hosts lots of dinner parties, they'd need quality dishes and kitchen gear. My point is just that we don't all need everything.
If you have some other specific items you may need, here are some sales to be aware of while you search:
DATE: 11/21 – 11/26
DATE: 11/21 – 11/26
DATE: 11/24 – 11/2
DATE: 11/22 – 11/24
DATE: 11/22 – 11/28
DATE: 11/21 – 11/28
DATE: starting 11/23
DATE: 11/21 – 11/26
DATE: 11/22 – 11/27
OTHER RETAILERS YOU MAY SHOP FROM:
While I've shared some material things you may need and some places you can shop for great deals right now, what I really want to encourage is that you get creative and find ways to share more experiences with the people you love this holiday season. I personally have found experiences with my people to be the most valuable things in my life. They beat out the nicest material things I've ever owned and can never be taken away from me.
I won't tell you what you should value because I certainly don't expect everyone to love travel the way that I do. But maybe just focus in on your "thing" instead of trying to do all the other things too. If you and our friends love music, prioritize gifting concert tickets. If it's being at home, consider hosting a holiday dinner party for the people you love. Do the people you love go crazy for a good meal? Take them to an epic restaurant or sign up for cooking classes together.
Whatever it is, think about the ways you can experience the sweetness life has to offer, not just the stuff. Sure, it sounds cliché, but life really is about the memories you make with the people you love. So pause and consider what memories you want to make and with who-- then focus on that this season.
What experiences are you thankful for and how do you plan to incorporate them into your holiday season?
I hope everyone has an amazing Thanksgiving filled with good food, time with family and countless reasons to be thankful!