How Do You #SimplifyHolidays?

by Wen Lee   |   December 10, 2013


Tired of the excessive consumerism of the holiday season?

You're not alone.

Join the movement to Simplify the Holidays! This holiday season, let's focus more on what matters. Let's share, laugh, relax, and stay out of the malls. Let's put away our wallets and spend our time doing meaningful activities with loved ones. After all, what you'll remember in 10 years are the memories, not the stuff.

New Dream wants to know: How do YOU simplify the holidays?

Tell us by taking sending us a #simplifyholidays photo!

  1. On a piece of paper, write #simplifyholidays and your tip
  2. Take a photo of yourself holding the sign (family/friends/props welcome!)
  3. Write a short caption for the photo
  4. Send New Dream your photo and caption, along with your name and city! You can do this by posting on our Facebook page, tweeting to @newdream with #simplifyholidays, or emailing us at

Join New Dreamers across the country in simplifying the holidays. Check out the photos below from New Dream staff, board members, and allies!

See the full photo slideshow on Facebook

Visit the Simplify the Holidays homepage

"More puppy love and family time with long walks, holiday films, and caroling with friends!"

—Wendy Philleo, New Dream executive director, with her husband Tim, her children Benton and Ella, and Coco the puppy

"Homemade treats like jam, salsa, and baked goods are perfect (and delicious) stocking stuffers! I make jellies and pickles with produce from my garden and local farmers market as a way to share a piece of my home with family and friends."

—Sarah Parkinson, New Dream graphic design intern

"Instead of spending time opening presents on Christmas morning, we're going to decorate cookies and have a tournament of different games. Our kids, all in their 20s, love to play games, and this will be a great opportunity to pull out some of the old games they grew up with!"

—Mary Murphy, New Dream Maryland regional volunteer coordinator, with her husband Kevin

"My family has been doing this for almost a decade now!"

—Mike Lydon, founding principal of The Street Plans Collaborative and New Dream board member

"We are giving these books and toys to younger kids for Christmas. Letting go of favorite things can be hard but we know they'll be enjoyed more by others."

—Barratt and Eliza, children of New Dream board member Liz Barratt-Brown

"Tell your family members and friends that you will make a gift to a charity or NGO in their name — they just need to pick one. That adds real content to the bumper sticker: the best things in life aren't things."

—Gus Speth, author, professor, and New Dream board member

"Handmade goodies are a gift to me and to the recipient. I get the gift of relaxation and fun while making them, and this year my new niece gets a stocking that we'll continue to fill with small treasures for years to come!"

—Holly Minch, founder of LightBox Collaborative and New Dream board member

"If we use the holidays to fan small sparks of creativity, it's a much sweeter gift to the world than crowded shopping malls and growing household clutter."

—Janelle Orsi, co-founder and executive director of Sustainable Economies Law Center

"Years ago my family opted out of the frenzy. We each just draw one name, so get the fun of getting and giving one meaningful gift rather than the stress of having to buy piles of stuff just to have something for everyone."

—Annie Leonard, founder and president of The Story of Stuff Project

"Give your parents drawing lessons as a gift."

Mr. Money Mustache, blogger, with his son and wife

"Skip the malls and hang out with friends and family instead."

—Adam Werbach, founder of yerdle, with Pearl, Simon, and Momo the cat

Want to see more photos?
Check out the full slideshow on Facebook.

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