Friends and family. That’s what wedding receptions, baby showers, birthday parties—any type of celebration, really—boils down to, right? It would be a lot less work and cost if a wedding consisted solely of a ceremony. No need to worry about finding a venue or coordinating entertainment. No need to worry about menus or seating arrangements. Yet despite the hassle, many people still choose to commemorate life’s biggest events with a celebration.
Why? Because, as humans, we’re hardwired for connection. Connection is what gives our lives purpose and meaning. And connection is what we crave when we celebrate momentous occasions. We want our friends and family close by when we get married, or have a baby, or graduate from college. We want our loved ones to share in our joy and to support us with their presence.
Yet these days, the desire for human connection isn’t normally what comes to mind when you think of the typical American celebration. From weddings to Sweet Sixteens to bar mitzvahs to the holiday season, glitzy and extravagant celebrations have become a cultural expectation. Although many Americans refuse to buy into this celebration propaganda, there’s no denying that the average cost of hosting celebrations in this country is steadily climbing.
The good news is that people are starting to take notice and speak up. In the New York Times, Slate, and beyond, people are bemoaning the state of celebrations in America today. For too long, there have been few marketed alternatives for folks who want to focus their attention on more fun and less stuff.
SoKind is a registry service designed to provide options for those of us who want to plan celebrations that reflect our lifestyles, promote our values, and enhance our lives. SoKind is for people who want to host more environmentally friendly celebrations, as well as for folks who simply refuse to start a new chapter in their lives with a mountain of debt. It’s for people who don’t view their celebration as an opportunity to impress, but rather as an opportunity to involve their friends and family in one of the most important occasions of their lives.
And it turns out there are a lot of us looking to celebrate more meaningfully. In under five months, more than 1,700 registries have been created on SoKind! To all of you who have created registries, given gifts off of registries, and spread the word about SoKind, we thank you. By encouraging the giving of homemade gifts, charitable donations, secondhand goods, experiences, time, and day-of-event help, you are having a real positive impact on celebrations.
But we at the Center for a New American Dream, the folks behind SoKind, have an even bigger wish: to help foster and support a community of people who are focused on more of what matters in their celebrations, and less of what doesn’t. And that is why we are so happy to announce that our community page is up and running! So, come check out our blog. We’ll be featuring real celebrations, guest-curated registries and more. Ask your questions and share your tips on our discussion forum. And, soon, you will have to opportunity to get together and share your celebration goods in our SoKind Marketplace.
Here’s to more fun and less stuff… to more joy and less stress… and to more love and less waste!