DO | Holiday Traditions

Growing up I recall many traditions for Christmas. Once I moved out of the house for good about 8.5 years ago (to live with my then-boyfriend now-husband) all of those changed. I’m a sucker for nostalgia, but everyone keeps telling me I have to “make my own traditions.” I think this was the first year I actually felt that I could do that while still holding my old traditions dear.

Here’s a few of my favorite Christmas traditions, new and old:

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DO | Get What You Want

When you make a purchase online or in store, most retailers want to ensure your satisfaction. This means they have easy return policies, price adjustment policies, and helpful customer representatives. Big box stores (some of my favorites as you’ll see below are Target and Amazon) can afford to not do these things, but know they’ll benefit more in the long run from having happy customers. Smaller businesses can’t afford to miss out on the opportunity to provide excellent service to their customers because the future of their business depends on it.

It also depends on you, the consumer, to let them know when they’ve done things that aren’t up to your satisfaction. This isn’t to be nit-picky – this is to let them know when their products aren’t doing what they should, or their staff isn’t doing what they should, and both of those things are important if they’d like to have you as a customer again.

As a side note, I must throw a big blanket apology out there to everyone I ever served in the retail world when I didn’t or couldn’t give them what they wanted. In my heart I usually wanted to (unless they were nasty), but I also wanted to keep my job and that meant complying with some pretty awful store policies. I’m sorry you wasted your money on those products and were unable to get satisfaction when you came to me for help.

Just in the last few weeks I’ve had multiple experiences with products where the product I purchased did not arrive as it should have, didn’t stand up to normal wear and tear as it should have, or changed prices.

Now, getting what you want in general is important, but for the purpose of this post this is only referring to the retail realm of this world. Since I’m a consumer almost daily in one way or another, it’s also important for me to know I have a chance to voice my opinion and get things righted.

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DO | Take Action

It’s been a very interesting 6 days since Trump took office.

I can’t say I agree with everything he’s doing which is why I am committed to taking action against it. As a private citizen who is not involved in politics, there isn’t much I CAN do, and add to it a stay-at-home-mom of 2 and that knocks out the majority of what I would be able to do to make my voice heard (such as join in on protests or go to evening townhalls).

So here’s what I have been doing.

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DO | Origami Bows

Last year I wrote a post on ways to reduce holiday spending. One of those ways was to streamline your gift wrapping. I enjoy the look of brown kraft paper with a colorful origami bow.

In addition to using the massive roll of brown kraft paper I purchased a year or so ago (so I’d never run out of inexpensive wrapping paper), I also started prepping my origami bows out of magazine pages earlier this year. I knew I would have a newborn during this holiday time and wanted to reduce the amount of time I spent doing pretty much anything. Now I’m ready to wrap and I’m happy I had some forethought to make my holidays easier.

The bows are simple to make once you get the hang of it and add they a unique touch to your gifts.

Have fun and happy holidays!


DO | Traditional Anniversary Gifts

When my husband and I first got married almost five years ago, I didn’t give much thought to future anniversary gifts. I knew there were gifts you might give a couple for their big anniversaries – silver for their twenty-fifth, gold for their fiftieth – but I didn’t realize there were categories of gifts starting the first year.

The year we got married, one of my coworkers was celebrating his fifth anniversary with his wife and he asked me what he should get her. I started thinking of things, and when everything I came up with was nothing he was interested in, he mentioned they gave each other gifts that matched up to the traditional list of anniversary gifts and he was looking for something in the wood category.

I started looking things up, and learned there were not only “traditional” gifts to give, but also “contemporary” gifts.

This sparked my interest.

So, starting with our first anniversary, I have given my husband a gift that aligns with the “traditional” list. I don’t ask for gifts from him, nor do I expect him to do the same for me, but I like to give gifts and it’s more fun to think of creative ways to give items from the list.

Here is the Hallmark List which includes both traditional and modern gifts.

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

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DO | Something Better

A few days ago I was on Facebook (pre-Orlando, which is another post coming, but since I was waiting on this and now it’s basically completely out of the news I feel like I should just post it already) and I came across a suggested news article from Buzzfeed entitled “Here Is The Powerful Letter The Stanford Victim Read Aloud To Her Attacker.” Little did I know the rabbit hole this would lead me down.

It was a weekend day. I had just put my daughter down for a nap. My husband was working in the yard. I took a few minutes of quiet to sit down at the computer and peruse Facebook. Then I came across that letter.

If you haven’t read it, please do. If you have read it, you probably understand how I feel. It’s gut-wrenching. It hit too close to home. It made me think about so many emotional things in the few minutes it took to read it.

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DO | Recycling Used Flags

With Memorial Day behind us and the Fourth of July ahead of us here in the United States (plus 363.25 other days in a year when you might display your flag), your flag could potentially get a lot of wear and tear. Cotton flags, while not made as much anymore, lose their vibrant color over time when displayed in the sun. Nylon flags are now the norm, but they can’t necessarily be disposed of in the same way a cotton flag would (burning isn’t recommended). In order to maintain the integrity of your flag, even in its retirement, it is important to know the rules of the flag and also the proper ways you can dispose of your used flag once it has given its service to your home.


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