Celebrating with Simplicity

“Everybody has their Cadillac,” says my dad when he is talking about the things that are normal for some and raise Such Indulgence eyebrows for others. I think this is especially true for penny pinchers people on a budget. Some people buy all their furniture on Craiglist, but then they buy this incredibly expensive cookware. I have friends who drive really nice vehicles, but I happen to know that they include eating lots of rice and beans in the family diet. I have to remember that while I forgo the cheese and bacon, my neighbor may think that the cereal in my shopping cart is a total splurge. I suppose I could always show them my coupons. 😛

Anyway… That is not the point here. The point? got a little lost in that first paragraph. I just wanted to clarify that if your particular brand of thrift doesn’t look just like mine, I am totally fine with that.

Back to celebrating… it doesn’t take a lot of money to make a festive occasion, especially for children.  I found this photo of a girly tea party, taken a year ago, and it brought all these thoughts up to the air.


On birthdays, we light a few candles, get out our pretty dishes, and drink out of goblets.  And we have bacon for breakfast. Instant celebration. When you eat a lot of cooked cereals, you appreciate the switch. 🙂 I kind of like that I don’t have to impress the birthday child with a tremendous meal from Taste of Home. (But then, I am a lazy cook.) We have ice cream and chips only on Occasions. We eat dessert on the weekend. It makes life very simple, and I love how the children’s eyes light up when the special stuff comes out. I do not quite know how to deal with the deprived little kids who try every kind of soda at the school picnic, though.

When I was a small girl, Mom would come home from grocery shopping trips with one pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit, five pieces. There were four of us, and we each got one piece, which we savored… and saved and chewed again the next day. Our school lunches were bologna sandwiches and canned peaches in a little container, with maybe a cookie and some milk in reuseable thermoses. It was a Really Big Deal to get a Twinkie in our lunch.

I feel old when I look around and see all the stuff that is considered necessary to raise a happy child. Just check out kids’ bedrooms or birthday parties on Pinterest and you will know what I mean. I know we can’t be back in the eighties again, and I certainly don’t want to be Amish either, but I am trying to raise my brood with gratefulness for the small things.  I am sure I am not the only one who wants to raise her children with that sort of simplicity. What do you do intentionally to cut back on some of the superfluous stuff?

6 thoughts on “Celebrating with Simplicity

  1. No, you are not the only one. We too eat very simply indeed. And my children are kind of shneikih, so I don’t think it hurts them a bit. I saw a picture on Pinterest of these cool book shelves made out of spice racks. The text underneath stated with great excitement that they cost only $3.99. I just had to giggle to myself trying to picture how our walls would look with those. First of all we would need so many that it would no longer be cheap. Secondly, altho it did look very beautiful in the picture, real life implys to me that a few tastefully arranged books looking brand new would just not be the case for us. Here in our house the books are arranged tastefully in egg boxes from Sams. 😀 Then they are scattered in a pleasing fashion about the living room. Most times my ode to pinterest is “preposterous, ridiculous, SILLY”

    1. I find myself gazing at photos of peaceful, white rooms, gauzy curtains blowing gently, bowls of tulips gracefully nodding. I think of how it would feel to sip my tea and read my book in such a room. But perish the thought! Such a room would not accomodate little people in any way. It would be misery. I embrace stained carpets and torn upholstery as a sign that I am investing rather well, if messily.

  2. I just have to laugh at these comments! Just yesterday, I was inspired to do some redecorating….. Most of it being out of reach of little hands, except for one small area. Having a little girl who also loves pretty things, within minutes after arranging it, I find the arrangement GONE!!! I didn’t have to look far before I saw it arranged elsewhere and her talking under her breath about her ” princess stuff”, further confirming, that yes, this season of my life is about practicality, not a beautifully decorated reading nook:) And…..I love it!

  3. Oh, yes! This is us, too. It is encouraging to hear from other mothers who value simple living. I love how something as small as ice cream or even a cereal that’s not in the cheapest category becomes SO SPECIAL when it’s not a normal occurance. There are a lot of things that are common for a lot of children that we simply don’t have much–certain foods, watching movies (I could write much about this one), “deep water” in the bathtub, lots of toys, huge celebrations… I so want our children to delight in simple things…real things created by God…things and ideas and animals and friends that reflect Him, spark imagination, and encourage growth. So much of what is part of life is good, but in excess can be harmful. One clue that we have excess is when I hear whining. In our former community this happened when we were out and about with friends too much. Sometimes now it happens when we’ve had too many food treats. I always make a mental note that there has been excess, and we cut way back. Soon the children are more happy, and treats become treats once again.

    1. I like the “deep water” one! We are on city water, despite living in the country, so when I let the kids have a water fight, they feel so treated. 🙂 I absolutely agree, “One clue that we have excess is when I hear whining.”

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