I hate to shop. Some people enjoy the thrill of the hunt, foraging for fantastic finds and rummaging through reduced-sale racks. Not me. It takes all the energy I can muster to go clothes shopping, and the mere thought of back-to-school and Christmas shopping makes me want to bury myself under the sheets until the seasons pass.
If getting to the store drains me of energy, prying my wallet open requires another type of energy altogether—something akin to a magnetic force field to free the money from my hand. I can't justify the cost of things (with so many who don't have enough, surely I don't need another pair of shoes). I frequently stand at the register, waffling in my indecision: Do I really need this blouse? Don't we have leftover crayons and markers we can reuse again this year?
I'm a retailer's worst nightmare.
Thankfully, I'm not alone. In her article, "Doing Good by Buying Well," Ava Pennington agrees the sheer volume of choices we're faced with is overwhelming. She helps put our purchasing power into perspective—sometimes it pays to spend more on the ones we love. Allison Althoff, our online editor, shares the in-person interview she did with Shane Claiborne at his home in North Philadelphia. Shane and his wife Katie are modeling how to live—and consume—conscientiously in their urban neighborhood. And Margot Starbuck gives us five creative ways to give good gifts at Christmas. Gifts that even I, a curmudgeon when it comes to Christmas consumerism, can give with joy.
Learning to shop with a smile,
Marian V. Liautaud
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