Hiya, Friends!  Your Presence is Present enough. 

A friend sent me a message this morning:

Hey! I’m getting ya’ll a little something for Christmas.

My first thought was, “noooo.” And not in a rude way. My friend kindly thought of me and wanted to share her joy through a present. The thing is, I’m a hoarder. I’m not afraid to say it anymore. I associate things with ideas and people, and I have trouble getting rid of things because it’s like forgetting an idea or saying goodbye to a friend.

My house is full of things from the previous two owners — both left things in the house when they sold it — and I’ve always been there to “help” friends who are cleaning out houses and have too much stuff themselves. There’s so much stuff here, and hardly any of it sparks joy. 

The hallway leading up to my front door is lined with boxes. A stack to bring to one thrift store that resells nicer stuff, another stack of stuff an artsy giveaway shop could definitely help rehome, and a few boxes of things for the free shop that local homeless people frequent. When I can’t easily walk to the door anymore, I fill up my backseat and drive around to the different thrift stores.  

And whatever isn’t re-usable or donatable goes into the trash, and that’s a another emotional struggle! I hate throwing things away, and I hate seeing other people throwing good stuff away at the dump. Americans have so much stuff that almost everything is disposable, and it’s so easy to replace something that isn’t perfect. Throw it away, toss it in the trash.  

But see, trash doesn’t just disappear. It gets covered up with dirt in landfills. Unfortunately, I live within a few miles of a growing landfill. Out of sight, out of mind — not so. I see it every day.  

I’ll get off that soap box. For today, anyway. Back to my friend’s message.

My other half and I regularly tell family members not to give us things. We don’t need it, we don’t want it. Even if it comes from a thrift store or was given for free, the item carries a cost to us. We have to house it, display it, clean it, maintain it. 

Of if it’s food, we have to eat it. I already weigh more than I want to, and now you’re giving me chocolate or snacks. Please don’t! At least, for me anyway. 

I deleted the “Noooooo!” that I first typed out. That wouldn’t be nice. Instead I replied:

Oh, thank you, but you really don’t have to. I mean, we appreciate the gesture, but J and I both have toooooo much stuff and are really trying to cut down our possessions. I bring boxes of stuff to thrift stores every month and am throwing away stuff all the time. I have a hoarding habit that I’m trying to break. And I’m constantly fasting to teach myself to eat better and lose weight. I’m really happy just to see you and your mom at the party and chat. 🙂 

And that’s the honest truth. 

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