Oprah’s “My Favorite Things” list has come out, celebrating products including a $350 Bartesian cocktail maker, a $245 Sarah Jessica Parker backpack and $96 liquid eyeshadow.
At my Budget Vogue desk, the combined cost of these products is what I just paid for my Craigslist couch and loveseat, so I doubt any of Oprah’s products will be under our Christmas tree.
Nevertheless, I enjoy perusing Oprah’s magazine and have decided to create my own list of “My Favorite Things” — Budget Vogue style.
#1. Gift of Organization. A few weeks ago, I asked my friend Anne to come over to help attack a room that needed to be cleaned out. Desperately. We spent six hours sorting, tossing, laughing and celebrated our effort with lunch.
This gift of time has prompted me to not only stare at this newly organized space, to celebrate the joy of releasing books, clothes and furniture, but to take pictures of the before and after. Bliss. What a gift.
#2. Gift of Trash Bags. As my Budget Vogue desk is in Dover, the front of our house is decorated with green Dover bags every Tuesday. (The city only collects trash that’s been packaged in these official bags.) The bags can be purchased around town. Other towns have different colors; Exeter’s are blue.
Looking for the perfect gift? Who doesn’t love practical and useful? One year for Christmas I wrapped a few Dover trash bags with red ribbons for friends and was met with nothing but enthusiastic “YAYS!”
#3. Gift of Light. If you can find a flashlight with working batteries within 10 seconds of reading this, well, you, my friend, are my hero. If you cannot, consider the purchase of a decent flashlight for yourself or someone on your list.
Years ago I bought myself a large Maglite which has never let me down; I keep it in my toolkit with the understanding that if it is removed, it must be returned under penalty of death. It stays there, and in case of emergency or power outage? Let there be light.
#4. Gift of Knowledge and Community Awareness. Get yourself, your friends, your relatives a subscription to news: to local, national and international news: The Union Leader, Foster’s Daily Democrat, The Boston Globe, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, InDepthNH.org, New Hampshire Public Radio.
Celebrate and support reporting, celebrate and support community action, celebrate and support those who write about what happens during budget hearings, high school sports games, election speeches. Celebrate those who share with us the obits, the births, the accidents, the police log. Knowledge is power, insight is invaluable. What a gift.
#5. Gift of Prayer. This, my friends, is the simplest gift of all and requires no wrapping, no gift receipt, no shopping whatsoever. I like giving this gift year round — to random people I see crossing the street, to teachers, to students, to my children, to my friends, to anyone I wish. It’s free, it’s easy, and it works. And while it’s not a $350 cocktail maker, I do believe the effects are far more powerful.
So, there you go, Budget Vogue fashionistas, My Favorite Things for the Holiday Season 2019. Do let me know how this works for you. And have anything to add? Do tell.
Happy shopping or praying or organizing. In the end, it’s all Budget Vogueingly fabulous.