Wednesday, November 28, 2012

If you wanna be happy...

These are the days of wanting to stay in bed all day, eating cookies, drinking hot chocolate, and watching Home Alone. These are also the days of less daylight, below-freezing temperatures, final essays, presentations, projects, and exams. As many cozy layers as I can pile on top of my 5 foot tall frame are an everyday necessity not only to fight the chill but also to create the illusion that I've never left bed and can nestle my face in the blankets whenever I need to escape to somewhere soft and sleepy.
These photos are from yesterday, when it was around 34°F out (warm for Minnesotans) and I just didn't want to wear anything or drag myself out of bed, much less the house. As a result, I put on this purple dress from New Mexico, a super cozy fuzzy knit turtleneck, flannel by Shaun White for Target, an old hat that I used to put on my teddy bear, purple Doc Martens, a scarf gifted to me by my best friend, and an old coat from the charity shop.
Because of all these layers of knits and flannels and linings, I barely felt like I'd left bed all day. I also had horrible hat hair which was equivalent to bed head, so double win.
I cleaned out my closet the other night and found some old things that I'd forgotten I'd had, including this purple sun dress. I haven't bought myself clothes, accessories, or much of anything except food for a few months now. I haven't had time this semester even to do online shopping. I feel good about this. I feel really good about this. I haven't felt the need to fill some void with material goods, only to be unsatisfied and buy more and more. I have more than what I need as it is. I think a lot of people, especially in Western civilizations, live in excess and waste their money on stupid things they don't need, like another pair of jeans or leggings or cable television or the newest Apple product. Seriously, who needs an iPad? No one. Who needs 4 pairs of jeans? No one. Who needs cable television? Yupp, you guessed it - no one.
I used to buy a lot of clothes and DVDs and shoes because I thought that they made me feel more complete. What a misconception. I've wasted so much money on buying shit I don't need or even really want that badly - or worse, that I only want for about 15 minutes. This semester, I've barely bought myself anything - and I feel good. I have less clutter in my room, I have more money in my pocket, and I feel less stressed about the amount of money I'm spending.
Because I haven't bought myself much of anything this semester, and because I'm not spending more than $15 per person for Christmas (I brought everyone gifts back from Guatemala), I decided to take a tag from the giving tree at my church and fulfill the gifts on the wishlist of a 19 year old girl living in Rezek House. Rezek House is an establishment for homeless teens aged 16 - 21 who need a stable and affordable living situation. So today, between classes, I set out for downtown Minneapolis to buy my girl an across-the-body purse and a dozen pairs of crazy, colourful socks. She also wants a personal heater, which I've yet to research & purchase.
I hadn't spent this much money in months - maybe even since last Christmas - and it was so strange. At first I felt really stressed about how much I was spending, but then I remembered that it isn't for me. I'm buying this girl gifts because I just want to make her smile, even if I'm not there to see it. In my case, I don't need material gifts in order to have a happy Christmas, because I am so blessed to have a job and have parents who let me live at home and eat their food. If someone asked me what material gift I wanted for Christmas, I couldn't even be able to tell them. I want all my friends to be together with me. I want my sister to stay healthy. I want the strength to succeed in school and be able to study abroad... I have plenty of socks. I have a nice purse. I live in a home with central heating. I don't need any of this, or really any more material gifts. I don't feel compelled to buy any of this type of stuff for myself. But if these things will make someone else happy, then why shouldn't I help to make her smile?
I urge everyone, in the spirit of the holiday season, to look beyond the material needs of both yourself and your privileged friends and family, and reach out to those in need. Trust me, it's a great feeling.
(That said, I fully support buying yourself a reward if you've worked really hard this year and want to buy yourself a puppy or some chocolates or what have you.)
I always end up getting on my soapbox when I don't even mean too...
Speaking of soapboxing, I'm watching Charlie Brown Christmas. This is quite possibly my favourite Christmas television special. No, it is my favourite! I love the wisdom that the Peanuts gang shares. Especially Linus. And I love Charlie Brown for being so introspective. And Lucy for being so brash. Snoopy is hilarious and creative, and I love Sally for how obsessed she is with Linus. I think we all can relate to that - when little hearts pop up around her and she gets all googly eyed and says, "That's the boy I'm going to marry!" - we've all been there. I remember growing up and always thinking that I'd marry a man like Schroeder - dedicated to his art and intensely serious. The Peanuts gang is just so dynamic...I love it. And the Charlie Brown Christmas special captures the true spirit of Christmas in a way that a lot of movies and television specials just...can't.
My mum bought me a gingerbread kit at the grocery store today and I'm so excited to make it once when I'm finished with finals! That's when I'm really gonna have my fun.
Take care and stay warm from the cold! Hopefully I'll be back soon, less exhausted and with more Christmas spirit! And in case I didn't cheer you up much, maybe Jimmy Soul can. xx


Milex said...

so hot

Brooke @ You're in Brookelynn said...

I totally know what you mean about stressing about money and buying stuff. I'm in college too and have always loved thrifting, but I end up acquiring so much stuff that I may want at first, but I don't really need it, and it stresses me out. Maybe I'll try to step away from the unnecessary shopping too!

Also, those boots are awesome. I've always wanted a pair of Doc Martins!

♥ Brooke

Priya said...

Chloe, I think it's awesome that you're refocusing your Christmas and getting a gift for a girl you've never met! I get stressed about spending money at Christmas, especially because I feel like everyone already has everything...trying to go with some more homemade type stuff this year. Which is a nightmare because I'm not crafty at all!! Also trying not to buy anything for myself until after Christmas. Looking forward to those good feelings...although post-Thanksgiving sale stuff looks so enticing! Love your cozy outfit too!

Lauren said...

Check out the Vornados! I have one in my own room I'm planning on bring to MN with me. :)

Two Happy Hearts said...

I love all your layers!! Such a perfect little winter outfit.

The Party Chief. said...

Hey hey a few months back you gave me advice on getting a tattoo and finally got one done!
Love your outfit, it's original yet chic and fashionable and created in a way that is not selfish!
Although your personality seems intense I think part of making people uncomfortable is appealing to their conscience which you definitely do!
Be proud of your role model ways!
Love from longterm reader

Anonymous said...

I generally feel the same way spending money on ANYTHING -- car repairs, stuff for myself, gifts for others -- spending it in large quantities just makes me nervous! But I do LOVE giving gifts and have tons of fun picking them hopefully someday I've got the spare cash so I don't have to worry :) Sounds like you've been in the same wardrobe mood as me lately...I've just been going for cozy layers! Love that Shaun White top.

<3 Cambria

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