Catholic homemaking · Simplicity

A penny saved

WWII Poster encouraging thrift - The National Archives
WWII Poster encouraging thrift - The National Archives

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”.  A well worn little axiom if there ever was one.   January is always a great  month to start working on new ideas, new plans, new goals.  With the current economic situation many of us are talking about ways to be thrifty, live more simply, basically spend and use less.

Right before Christmas Portland was blanketed in snow and ice.  After the holiday had pass and the snow was all but gone I took my oldest to get her hair cut and happened to overhear another customer talking about what a great Christmas she had had.  She hadn’t been able to get out and shop for all her last minute gifts, but she had a wonderful Christmas anyway.  She had made a couple gifts and just hadn’t given as many gifts as usual.  I thought it was really cool that she felt that way instead of feeling as though she had missed something.

Yesterday I found a really nice post about economy at  The Simple Wife.   I like her takes on the concept of economy and I agree whole heartily that we live in a culture with too much waste and trash.  We view everything as disposable — even people.

One of the themes in Tolkien’s work which has stuck with me is the thought of  things made to last.  He covers almost in passing, but as an enduring theme in his books,  the connections between craftsmanship, beauty and thrift.  All things functional also have form and where possible the form should be lovely and well crafted.  All things worth of creating are worth creating well and nothing should be wasted, tossed aside or abandoned.  Which is in a sense the essence of simple living, have less, do more with it and select those things we add to our life with care and care for what we have.  Only when something is ruined and twisted or wasted beyond repair is it destroyed.