19 Responses to “How to Silence the Desire to Acquire”


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  1. I’m fortunate that I don’t have much desire to acquire. The “pay with your time” tip strikes to the core for me and work on many different levels.

  2. Like Sandra, I too don’t have a desire to acquire. And after my recent speaking engagement in Mexico (be with people who have much, much less) any funds I might have spent during the holidays turned into a family conversation where the general consensus was to send those funds to a wonderful non-profit there that turns the money into water cisterns and smokeless, ecological stoves for local people in need.

  3. You describe so well how easy it is to be tempted to buy unnecessary stuff in the run up to Christmas. Maybe instead of a list of stuff we should create a list of more meaningful wants: time with friends, time helping others etc… I’m hoping your words will keep me on the straight and narrow as we enter December!

    • Courtney Carver

      me too Claire. It is a challenging time, especially if our past included physical gift giving as the primary holiday event.

  4. Paula

    That’s all i needed to hear today! I have been looking for the perfect down jacket that i need for this winter! But do i really need it? Maybe i can do without and just save that extra cash for a future trip or for a nice dinner with my family!
    Thanks, Courtney!

  5. Great post Courtney,

    I really like your suggestion to ‘pay with your time’. Such a great way to look at how we spend our money, and especially useful for the holidays.

    We are pruning back on our Christmas spending, each year is a smaller and smaller celebration. Taking some time to consciously think about how we celebrate seems to both lessen the ‘need’ for things and also make us more appreciative of the actual celebration of Christmas.

    • Courtney Carver

      Yes! Well done Dave. I am pretty sure the very first Christmas was simple and only celebrated what was most important.

  6. I love your thoughts and ideas. I was folding laundry today and told my husband, “I am so happy I will not be buying one piece of winter clothing this year. I already have enough.” I was previously thinking it in my head but decided to say it out loud, so I could hear it and also be held accountable. I don’t think I’ll need the “Remember when you said…” but it never hurts to be extra sure!

    • Courtney Carver

      Accountability and support is so important when changing habits. I am sure your husband will be gentle if he has to say … “Remember when you said…” ;)

  7. Our family made the decision at Thanksgiving to spend our gift money on charity giving rather than acquiring more ‘stuff’ for ourselves. It is a season of giving, not receiving after all! :)

  8. Courtney,
    Your post was fantastic and hit upon so many wonderful points about this season. I was just have this conversation with my sister about well…doing more with less :) …. but also this idea that we really do have all we need. While I love the tradition of this season, the cold weather, the excitement and joy I see in my nieces’ eyes at the first snow fall or just the thought that Santa will be coming, I am all too aware of how easy it is to get sucked into it in a negative way. We are bombarded with consistent messages to buy more … and more and more. Nothing is ever enough and we buy just to buy, to keep up with what everyone else is doing, or to feel good that we bought that such-and-such — you know, the one that EVERYONE wants — for someone who probably didn’t need another darn such-and-such.

    As a professional organizer I see first hand, all the time, how much stuff people have. They inevitably say “I have too much stuff” and my goal is always to help them realize that they have enough.

    I lOVE your tip of “Pay with your time”. So valuable and so, so rewarding. Thanks for all you share. It really is a wonderful blog. :)

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