I simplified my life by cancelling my magazine subscriptions. It not only reduced the clutter of the unread, it eliminated the stress of a pile of “should read”. Now, once in awhile, when a cover at the checkout line catches my eye and I am in the mood to peruse, flip, and douse myself in pop culture, I treat myself to a magazine.
Just the other day I picked up the Christmas edition of REAL SIMPLE (tag line: Life Made Easier). The cover was so red and baubled, it called to me to get ready for the holidays. And as I flipped through the pages, my irritation ballooned. The magazine was full of strategies to manage Christmas stress (see “Your Essential Guide to Holiday Survival” on page 170). Tips like having your older kids iron your holiday linens or ways to “cut your Chief Schedule Enforcer job in half by uploading a shared digital calendar to include every party, cookie swap and caroling event”.
The deeper I got in to the magazine I realized it is these magazines that create the stress-inducing Perfect Holiday Image. Sprinkled in between the “tips” were articles like “Why settle for a standard wreath when you can make holiday magic?” (Check out the video at realsimple.com/wreaths for you DIYers). I didn’t buy Martha Stewart’s Living magazine for a reason – I want to love my standard store-bought wreath.
Then there was “Embellish your Story: simply add low effort high drama hair and jewelry to become utterly fantastical”. I don’t believe that low effort and high drama go together when you are talking about hair.
And my personal favorite, “Gift Wrap: pretty, witty papers and complementary frills are a cut above the seasonal standbys. Get on a roll and make a magical holiday present-ation”.
And all this from a magazine whose tag line is “Life Made Easier”.
For those of us who buy 3 rolls of wrapping paper every time we are at the supermarket check-out, whose calendars don’t include cookie swaps and caroling, those of us who are perfectly satisfied with a wreathless door and wrinkles in our holiday linens – I hope we all have fun getting ready for a really simple Christmas. And I sure hope there aren’t any magazine subscriptions wrapped up in a “witty paper with a complementary frill” under the tree!