Thought I’d share a tip we use around here that makes me happy at least once a year.
When traveling, we follow a pretty strict “no souvenirs” policy, with one exception – we try and pick up something we can hang on the Christmas tree, to remind us of the trip.
- It can’t be an ‘official ornament’.
- It gets stored when the tree comes down.
In the past we’ve repurposed totem keychains from Vancouver, thimbles from NYC, and a baby sock with a Cubs logo on it. There’s even a brass armadillo from Austin that’s hanging courtesy of some old twist ties.
Here’s why it works:
- It gives you something fun to look for when you’re on vacation.
- It makes you feel good when you decorate the tree every year. You think back on these fun trips, versus thinking, “look, a shiny ball”.
- It gives visitors to your house something to talk about.
- Perhaps best of all…it gets stored away most of the time – so it’s not cluttering up your house!
Speaking of happiness in general – there’s a great book called Stumbling on Happiness that’s essentially a summary of various research studies about the kind of choices that typically make people happy – the results will almost certainly surprise you.
Here’s one tip from the book: If you have a favorite dish at a restaurant – don’t waste your time ordering other items to see if you can find a second favorite at that spot. Odds are low.
Another tip: over the long term, you’re more likely to be happy with a purchase if you bought it from a “NO RETURN” policy…how counter-intuitive is that??