Location: I didn't move too far since posting Part 1 an hour ago...
As some of you might have read here before, I'm not really a big fan of random, useless stuff and clutter.
I'm going through a phase in my life where I'm trying to live a little simpler & frugal, opting to focus on meaningful experiences, such as travel, fly fishing and becoming more financially secure. Did I mention fly fishing? I like to do that.
Of course, unfortunately for me, this does not coincide with what Christmas has become for an increasingly large part of society.
DJ B-Ray posted this video from Bill Maher a few days before Christmas. It is definitely worth paying attention to.
That provides a really good explanation for most of my Christmas shopping (& wish list) in 2010 (though, being as awesome as I am, I had most of my shopping done long before I watched the video).
I wanted to get useful gifts for the important people in my life. Not just 'stuff they might need' but actual, put-to-good-use types of things.
For some close friends & family, I took it a step further.
They received donations made in their name to Kiva.org. Kiva provides entrepreneurs in developing countries with micro-financing to help them get their business off the ground. It isn't 'just' a hand-out; those receiving the loans are required to pay them back. And most of them do. 98.91% of them, to be precise.
As for my 'wish list,' I didn't ask for much and was very lucky with what I received:
- my gorgeous gf picked me out a really cool book (Four Fish, by Paul Greenberg) and added gift cards for a bookstore & coffee shop.
- the folks & my brothers picked me up some very useful odds & ends (coffee, Esso gift cards, iTunes gift cards, etc).
- my roommates picked me up Fishpond's super-cool Southern Cross Fishing Journal.
- Chris & his fiance at Fredericton Outfitters gave me a classic salmon fly (pictured below), tied & mounted by Scott Doncaster.
All said & done, a pretty good haul for a quasi-minimalist :)
Thanks to my friends & family for the wonderful gifts; more importantly, thanks for being my friends & family.