Lost Mule Lodge
… a journey that began with a cabin in the woods
“Just rip it open!!” I said as I stomped my foot in excited anticipation. My husband and I looked at each other with that silent smirk of – we did good this time.
When the package was finally opened silence fell over the room as the contents were being examined. A very sincere thank you was given and the gift was gently handed back to us…
We never saw that coming. How had we gotten it so wrong? How could we have missed that he was a minimalist to the core? Everything he owned would have easily fit into a backpack. If he owned a backpack… As his parents we found pride in his honesty.
His first trip home from college, we were shocked as we picked him up at the airport. He arrived with a brown paper grocery bag. The kind you expect to see celery greens sprouting out the top. It was neatly folded to cover a shirt, a pair of jeans, clean socks, underwear and a toothbrush for his 9 day visit.
When we offered an actual suitcase for his trip back. His response was, “This grocery bag holds everything just fine, why would I want to bother with luggage?” He was now carrying the stained and tattered grocery bag tucked under his arm to keep the contents from spilling out the gapping hole in the bottom. Our teary goodbye turned to uncontrollable laughter as we watched him go through security with his “grocery bag”. All we could say was – “Yep, that’s our boy!”
It was a year later, we were visiting him in the spring. We scanned his tiny apartment…. “Hey, where is that bronze statue we sent you for Christmas – we don’t see it anywhere?”
As he was preparing a cup of tea for us to share he says, “Oh, I donated it… but I took a picture of it first. So, I kind of still have it.”
Okay – clearly we are slow learners. He may never be ready to clutter up his space with useless stuff.
It is human nature to give gifts that we ourselves would appreciate receiving. But, we have since learned that something we like may not always be the best gift to give someone else.
I did some research on gift giving to a minimalist – one article suggested instead of wrapping a gift – to wrap them with a hug… Okay, that would be awesome but, Im afraid this would leave us feeling a little guilty. There has to be a happy medium. Something they could use and something we would feel good about giving.
A gift card for dinner out or perhaps a second cup for that tea…? Basically, if you have a minimalist on your gift list, my advice is if they have to dust it – they probably won’t want it.
Although this sculpture of our hands was created to be his gift, we display it on our shelf. We are glad it was so gently handed back to us that Christmas eve. Each time I dust this sculpture – I smile, because of the memory, and for the love of our son.
Also, I found this bronze statue at a thrift store – it looks exactly like the one we gave him… I am thinking it was serendipity!
We are proud of the man he has become and we still admire his honesty.
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All photos, thoughts, experiences and opinions are my own.
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