Monday’s Meditation: On Why You Won’t Find Holiday Gift Guides On Live Simply

Monday, December 2, 2013

Tis the season for gift guides, and publications, bloggers, and practically anyone else with the means to put together a product collage in some format are putting them forth.

Since I began blogging, I’ve debated putting together Live Simply holiday gift guides. And then each year I’ve just let the opportunity slide right by, eventually telling myself that it was too late now anyway, Annie; all of the shoppers have already been guided to buy all of the gifts.

This year, once again, I considered it. I tossed it casually back and forth thinking, “I could do a mini one, I wouldn’t have to make it some big ordeal of a thing.” And then that thought would be promptly followed with “Uch. What an ordeal.” And so forth. 

The absence of holiday gift guides on Live Simply this year isn’t a reflection of my stance on holiday gift giving. I don’t feel the need to decry the commercialization of the holidays (mostly because society does a pretty reliable job making that evident all on its own). The reason is wholly more sympathetic; I honestly can’t imagine you need or want to see another gift guide, is really all it is.

If you’re like me, you feel like you’re getting it from every direction this time of year. It’s all presented in the context of being festive and fun and it is, mostly. But by the thirteenth such guide, it starts to feel like you’re being assaulted with retail and jolly chants of “buy, buy, buy!” 

So this year I’ll be refraining from putting out a Live Simply gift guide not because I believe you shouldn’t find and give wonderful gifts, but because I feel like what the world needs at this moment isn’t another person adding to the noise. True, maybe that means I’ll miss out on the plentiful affiliate dollars that others posting guides will reap. But that in itself is hardly incentive enough for me. I would rather this remain a place where you can come to for calm, for a respite from the norm. This is Live Simply, after all. 

I’m sorry if I’ll be disappointing some of you. I’m sorry if you were really counting on a “100 presents to buy your totally anal retentive mother-in-law.” You’ll just have to seek out a gift guide somewhere else. Not that you’ll have to, because you really can’t avoid them, no matter how hard you try. 

Live Simply is all year round. And also during the holidays.  

4 thoughts on “Monday’s Meditation: On Why You Won’t Find Holiday Gift Guides On Live Simply

  1. Tatiana

    I really respect your decision. It is a very valid one!!! I follow myself some blogs…but there is a time that I get really overwhelmed by the products they ‘encourage’ us to buy. As you stated, I am trying to Live Simply, and enjoy the ‘simple normal’ stuff we need. Something that really disappoints me in fashion blogs, is they are using, for example, a brand affordable scarf…but the link they take us to is a $$$ store…upsetting. Kuddos for you Annie!!!!

  2. Serene

    I never comment on your blog, though I have definitely appreciated many of your live simply tips! But I just have to say, ‘THANK YOU!!!!!’ I feel like a judgmental jerk, but I am just so sick of seeing blogfuls of gift guides. It no longer feels helpful, it feels like I’m being sold….and by a space that I felt was pure. Of course, that right there is MY problem, idealizing blogs, bloggers and blogging. Blogging is certainly a Catch 22. A blogger builds a following by being themselves, no real agenda, self expression and a display of personality and ideas….thus building a following which attracts advertisers and sponsors…..which, in turn, slowly starts to eat away at the purity of self and self expression and ideas. Probably completely unfair, really. I mean, why shouldn’t a blogger make money off of her blog? I just feel better when the blog opens up opportunities, not ad space. Anyhoo, again, Thank you! You hit the nail on the head with this one!!! Serene

    1. Annie Post author

      YOU hit the nail on the head homegirl! You touched on exactly what I’ve been concerned with lately, and what I’m so intent on not having Live Simply become. Thanks for the comment!


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