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  • feedwordpress 17:36:17 on 2016/11/08 Permalink
    Tags: , election, , , , , The book Happier at Home, , , voting   

    Something that Makes Me Happy: Voting. 


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    voting2016

    I sometimes get what I think of as my “America feeling.” Usually when I get this feeling, it’s so strong that I actually choke up.

    It hits me at the oddest time.  For instance, I felt it when I got my daughter’s emergency passport, and the officer was giving us our directions. (You can hear me tell the story on episode 31 of the podcast: “If you have an appointment, you’re in line A, for ‘appointment’; if not, you’re in line B, for ‘bad planning.’”)

    I felt it during the musical Hamiltonfor instance, during this part.

    I get the America feeling whenever I vote.  I love to vote. It gives me such a feeling of accomplishment and participation.

    Also, writing Happier at Home made me more attuned to the feeling not only of “home” but also of “neighborhood.” Voting is always a great neighborhood experience for me.

    Today when I signed the voting register, I saw the signatures of my husband and my mother-in-law (we live around the corner from my in-laws, and I mean right around the corner); my father-in-law’s name is on the flip side.

    I had a nice chat with the people on either side of me in line, plus we saw Paul McCartney walk by! It was a very friendly neighborhood experience.

    This has been a tough election cycle. Voting reminded me of how grateful I am. Grateful for my family and my neighborhood and my country. Gratitude for democracy and the ability to vote. These elements of my life are so easy to take for granted, and yet play such an important part of my daily happiness.

    How about you? How do you feel about voting?

    The post Something that Makes Me Happy: Voting. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 18:02:12 on 2016/09/16 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , The book Happier at Home, ,   

    Research shows that September Really IS the Other January. 


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    septembernewyear

    I’ve written many times about how for me, September is the other January — a clean slate, a fresh start, a chance to use new pencils, fresh notebooks, and begin again.

    In fact, in my book Happier at Home, I did a happiness project that stretched from September to May, to take advantage of September’s clean slate.

    So I was fascinated to read a piece in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, “Now Is the Real New Year” by Anne Marie Chaker.

    Some interesting points about why people make resolutions in September:

    • with the start of school, families get back into routines, and that helps people get organized and set goals
    • January is a tough time for resolutions, because of post-holiday exhaustion
    • summer efforts can get derailed because of vacation
    • September is one of the biggest months for enrolling in weight-loss programs, going to the gym, and cooking at home
    • people often change their hair style in September
    • people often take steps to change careers in September, and work on household budgets
    • September is now bigger than June as a time to get married; it’s second only to October

     

    How about you? Do you feel like September is a time for a fresh start?

     

    The post Research shows that September Really IS the Other January. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:06:42 on 2016/08/24 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , happiness home literature reading Laura Ingalls Wilder comfort psychology relationships, , , , moderation, , , , , , , , The book Happier at Home   

    Podcast 79: Revive a Dormant Friendship, a Selection of Yearbook Quotes, and a Gold Star for Making Phone Calls. 


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    coffeefortwo

    It’s time for the next installment of  “Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

    Update: It’s almost September, and for many of us, September is the other January. If you get a clean slate, start-over feeling in September, check out my book Happier at Home. I spend a school year — from September though May — going deep into the project of becoming happier at home. If you’re not happy at home, it’s hard to be happy.

    Try This at Home: Revive a dormant friendship.

    I promised to post a photo of Elizabeth’s Smith and Noble window treatments, but Elizabeth decided that her house just looks too torn up — she doesn’t want to send a photo yet! The window treatments are the only thing accomplished at this point.

    Happiness Hack: Todd asks, “Our household receives a lot of reading material in the mail, but we never know when everyone’s done reading something, so don’t know when to throw things away. Any ideas?”

    Deep Dive: In episode 74, we suggested the Try This at Home of “Pick a quotation for your senior yearbook page.” Listeners sent in their choices — so many great ones.

    Listener Question:  Jenny asks, “Can an Abstainer indulge in chocolate, in moderation?” Jenny is asking about the Abstainer vs. Moderator distinction — and here’s a post about planned exceptions.

    Elizabeth’s Demerit: Elizabeth has fallen behind on her pledge on GoodReads to read 75 books this year. If you want to work on the habit of reading more, you can get my one-page “Reading Better Than Before” guide here.

    Gretchen’s Gold Star: I managed to make some phone calls.

    Remember,  I’m doing weekly live videos on my Facebook Page about the podcast. To join the conversation, check the schedule. Tune in this Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

    And if you want to take the Four Tendencies quiz, to find out if you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel, it’s here.

    As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

    Check out Stamps.com. Want to avoid trips to the post office, and buy and print official U.S. postage for any letter or package, right from your own computer and printer? Visit Stamps.com to sign up for a 4-week trial, plus a $110 bonus offer — just enter the promo code HAPPIER.

    Also check out Smith and Noble, the solution for beautiful window treatments. Go to smithandnoble.com/happier for 25% off window treatments and a free in-home design consultation.

    And don’t forget to check out Trunk Club. Get hand-picked outfits shipped right to your door–chosen by your very own personal stylist. Go to TrunkClub.com/happier to learn more.

    1pix

    We love hearing from listeners:

     

    To sign up for my free monthly newsletter, text me at 66866 and enter the word (surprise) “happier.“ Or click here.

    If you enjoyed the podcast, please tell your friends and give us a rating or review. Click here to tell your friends on Twitter.

    Listeners really respect the views of other listeners, so your response helps people find good material. (Not sure how to review? Instructions here; scroll to the bottom.)

    How to Subscribe

    If you’re like me (until recently) you’re intrigued by podcasts, but you don’t know how to listen or subscribe. It’s very easy, really. Really.  To listen to more than one episode, and to have it all in a handier way, on your phone or tablet, it’s better to subscribe. Really, it’s easy.

    Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the podcast, when you listen toHappier with Gretchen Rubin?” We talk about how to build happier habits into everyday life, as we draw from cutting-edge science, ancient wisdom, lessons from pop culture—and our own experiences (and mistakes).  We’re sisters, so we don’t let each other get away with much.

    HAPPIER listening!

    The post Podcast 79: Revive a Dormant Friendship, a Selection of Yearbook Quotes, and a Gold Star for Making Phone Calls. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 01:50:15 on 2016/08/11 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , odor, , , , , , , The book Happier at Home, ,   

    Podcast 77: Go On an “Errand Date,” Deal with the Nasty Areas of Your House, and Handling Sentimental Items. 


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    It’s time for the next installment of  “Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

    Update: A listener updates us on her theme for the year: “More Music.”

    Try This at Home: Go on an “errand date.”

    Happiness Hack: For people sharing a space, Erin suggests a hack that she used in college: each roommate had a bin,  so when anyone wanted to clean up, stuff just went in the bins.

    Happiness Stumbling Block: Dealing with the nasty, smelly, sticky areas of our home. I write more about this in Happier at Home.

    Listener Question: Elena asks about how to deal with possessions that have a lot of sentimental value.  Again, a big subject in Happier at Home. Here’s the link to the post I mention, about 7 Reasons I Disagree with Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

    Elizabeth’s Demerit: Elizabeth never got around to sending a package to her niece Eleanor at summer camp.

    Gretchen’s Gold Star: I managed to give away our beautiful, beloved play kitchen.

    Remember,  I’m doing weekly live videos on my Facebook Page about the podcast. To join the conversation, tune in Tuesdays at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

    And if you want to take the Four Tendencies quiz, to find out if you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel, it’s here.

    As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

    Sign up for The Great Courses Plus today and you’ll get unlimited access to thousands of fascinating lectures taught by top professors and experts in their fields. Special offer for our listeners: try it for free when you sign up at www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/happier.

    Also check out Texture. Get access to all your favorite magazines — including back issues and bonus video content — in one super-convenient place. Try the app Texture for free by going to Texture.com/happier.

    Also check out Smith and Noble, the solution for beautiful window treatments. Go to smithandnoble.com/happier for 25% off window treatments and a free in-home design consultation.

     

    We love hearing from listeners:

     

    To sign up for my free monthly newsletter, text me at 66866 and enter the word (surprise) “happier.“ Or click here.

    If you enjoyed the podcast, please tell your friends and give us a rating or review. Click here to tell your friends on Twitter.

    Listeners really respect the views of other listeners, so your response helps people find good material. (Not sure how to review? Instructions here; scroll to the bottom.)

    How to Subscribe

    If you’re like me (until recently) you’re intrigued by podcasts, but you don’t know how to listen or subscribe. It’s very easy, really. Really.  To listen to more than one episode, and to have it all in a handier way, on your phone or tablet, it’s better to subscribe. Really, it’s easy.

    Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the podcast, when you listen toHappier with Gretchen Rubin?” We talk about how to build happier habits into everyday life, as we draw from cutting-edge science, ancient wisdom, lessons from pop culture—and our own experiences (and mistakes).  We’re sisters, so we don’t let each other get away with much.

    HAPPIER listening!

    The post Podcast 77: Go On an “Errand Date,” Deal with the Nasty Areas of Your House, and Handling Sentimental Items. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 01:21:07 on 2016/07/01 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , The book Happier at Home, , , ,   

    I Make a Good Happiness Choice, and a Bad Happiness Choice. 


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    brooklyn_heights

    One of the advantages of being a writer is that I have a lot of control over my time. However, I often don’t take advantage of that. I feel uncomfortable if I’m not being “productive” when I feel like I should be working — and most of the time, I feel like I should be working.

    But the other morning, I made a good happiness choice. I was going to the Panoply studio in Brooklyn to record an episode of my podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin, and somehow I got it in my head that I needed to leave my apartment at 8:15. Only when I arrived at my subway stop did I realize I should’ve left at 9:15.

    So what to do with that hour? First, I considered using that time for work. I saw a nice outdoor cafe, but then I thought — no, I’ll choose to wander.  I want to explore, and spend this lovely June morning getting to know a new part of New York City.

    So I did. I walked around Brooklyn Heights, I saw the waterfront, I went to the bank, I got some exercise (I haven’t had much exercise in the last few weeks), I got to understand the geography of the city better — I had a very happy hour. And I had plenty of time to work, later. In The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, I write about why these various elements give a happiness boost.

    Today, I made a different choice. I met a friend for lunch, and her office was right near a perfume shop that I’ve been meaning to visit for months. I’d planned to go to the store after lunch, but when I got out on the street, I thought, “I just took a long break for lunch. I need to get back to my desk.” And here I am, back at my desk — and I wish I’d visited the perfume shop! I love perfume, it was only a few blocks away from my friend’s office, but it’s quite far from my apartment, so I’m unlikely to be down there again soon. I wish I’d taken the time to enjoy that neighborhood, enjoy some beautiful scents — and delayed my desk time by an hour.

    We talk a lot about the problem of procrastinating work in order to goof off. But sometimes, we procrastinate goofing off in order to work. Do you ever have this problem?

    Obviously, it’s not a good idea to leisure over work all the time. But sometimes, it’s the right choice.

    I should’ve put “Visit perfume store” in my calendar. Upholder that I am, I bet that would’ve helped me to go.

    The post I Make a Good Happiness Choice, and a Bad Happiness Choice. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 11:30:18 on 2016/05/26 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , The book Happier at Home,   

    Got the Urge to Do Some Spring-Cleaning? Avoid These 5 Classic Mistakes. 


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    Spring Cleaning

    It’s spring! (In my part of the world, at least.) And with spring comes the urge to do some spring-cleaning. The warmer weather and the fresh breezes make me want my home to feel orderly, spacious, and clean.

    So far, I’ve tackled three kitchen cabinets, a closet, and my pile of white t-shirts. It feels great.

    One of the things about happiness that continually surprises me is the degree to which, for most people, outer order contributes to inner calm, and inner self-command. I write about this connection in Better Than Before, in The Happiness Project, and in Happier at Home. (All New York Times bestsellers, I can’t resist adding).

    This connection fascinates me; in the context of a happy life, a crowded coat closet or an overflowing in-box is trivial, and yet such things weigh us down more than they should. And clearing clutter is so energizing and cheering!

    I’ve learned the hard way, however, to avoid these classic mistakes during spring-cleaning, or clutter-clearing generally:

    1. Don’t get organized.

    When you’re facing a desk swamped in papers, or a closet bursting with clothes, or counter-tops littered with piles of random objects, don’t say to yourself, “I need to get organized.” No!

    Your first instinct should be to get rid of stuff. If you don’t keep it, you don’t have to organize it. My sister wanted me to help her organize her papers, and after we through away the papers she didn’t need to keep, there was nothing left to organize. Excellent.

    2. Don’t buy fancy storage gizmos.

    Ironically, it’s often the people with the worst clutter problems who have the instinct to run to a store and buy complicated hangers, drawer compartments, etc.  Don’t let yourself buy an item until it’s absolutely clear that it will help you organize objects that are truly necessary—rather than act as a crutch to move clutter around or to jam more clutter into place.

    3. Don’t save things for the hazy future.

    Some things are  worth keeping — but not most things. I was once helping a friend clear her clutter, and when I gently suggested that she might give away that pantsuit that she wore to work eight years earlier, she said, “Oh, but my daughter might want to wear those one day.” Really? I don’t think so. If you get a new dog, you’ll probably want a fresh dog bed, and if you lose a bunch of weight, you’ll probably decide to buy a new pair of jeans.

    4. Don’t “store” things.

    It makes sense to store holiday decorations, seasonal clothes, baby things you intend to use again, and anything else that’s useful for a particular time. But often, when we “store” something, it’s because we know we don’t really need it, or use it, or care about it much, but we just want to get it out of the way. Usually, it’s easier to throw something in the basement, attic, or garage than it is to figure out what to do with it. But in the long run, it’s better not to “store” that stuff but to give it away, recycle it, or toss it right away — without an intervening period in storage.

    5. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

    Things often get messier before they get tidier. If you dump out every drawer in that big chest, you may run out of energy and time before you’re finished sorting through all of it. Take one drawer at a time. Of course, sometimes it’s necessary — and even fun — to spend a whole day or weekend clearing clutter, but often, it’s more realistic to tackle smaller aims.

    Remember, we often over-estimate what we can do in a short time (one afternoon) and under-estimate what we can do over a long period, a little at a time (spending thirty minutes a day clearing clutter, for a month). Keep the process manageable.

    What are your tips for clearing clutter? What mistakes have you made, in the past?

    The post Got the Urge to Do Some Spring-Cleaning? Avoid These 5 Classic Mistakes. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:31:56 on 2016/05/18 Permalink
    Tags: Arianna Huffington, , , , , , , , , , , The book Happier at Home, , ,   

    Podcast 65: Enjoy Your Home’s Special Features, Arianna Huffington Talks About Sleep, and the Pleasure of Children’s Literature. 


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    huffingtonsleepmask

    It’s time for the next installment of  “Happier with Gretchen Rubin.1pix

    Remember,  I’m doing weekly live videos on my Facebook Page about the podcast. I talk to viewers about questions, comments, suggestions. Any episode; don’t worry if you’re not caught up. You can watch the most recent one here or my video with our producer Henry, look here. If you want to join the conversation live, I’m doing them on Tuesdays at 1:00 pm Eastern. Join in! It’s so fun to have a chance to talk to listeners and viewers.

    MugObligerHappierUpdate: Elizabeth and I have our new mugs for sale, one for each of the Four Tendencies. Order here. I sent Elizabeth an Obliger mug for her birthday.

    Try This at Home: Enjoy your home’s special features. I wrote about this issue in my book Happier at Home.

    Interview: We talk to author and entrepreneur Arianna Huffington, who just wrote a terrific book, The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time.

     Elizabeth’s Demerit: Elizabeth had two friends who recently had health issues (fortunately, both are fine now), and she regrets that she didn’t do more to support them.

    Gretchen’s Gold Star: I give a gold star to my three — yes, three — children’s literature reading groups. They make me so happy! I wrote about starting these groups in The Happiness Project. If you’d like to get back into reading children’s literature, here’s a reading list to get you started.

    As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

    Check out The Great Courses Plus for a wide variety of fascinating courses taught by top professors and experts in their fields. Special offer for our listeners: free access to one of their most popular courses, for free as part of a 30-day trial, when you sign up. Go to thegreatcoursesplus.com/happier

    And check out Stamps.com. Want to avoid trips to the post office, and buy and print official U.S. postage for any letter or package, right from your own computer and printer? Visit Stamps.com to sign up for a 4-week trial, plus a $110 bonus offer — just enter the promo code HAPPIER.
    1pix

    We love hearing from listeners:

     

    To sign up for my free monthly newsletter, text me at 66866 and enter the word (surprise) “happier.“ Or click here.

    If you enjoyed the podcast, please tell your friends and give us a rating or review. Click here to tell your friends on Twitter.

    Listeners really respect the views of other listeners, so your response helps people find good material. (Not sure how to review? Instructions here; scroll to the bottom.)

    How to Subscribe

    If you’re like me (until recently) you’re intrigued by podcasts, but you don’t know how to listen or subscribe. It’s very easy, really. Really.  To listen to more than one episode, and to have it all in a handier way, on your phone or tablet, it’s better to subscribe. Really, it’s easy.

    Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the podcast, when you listen toHappier with Gretchen Rubin?” We talk about how to build happier habits into everyday life, as we draw from cutting-edge science, ancient wisdom, lessons from pop culture—and our own experiences (and mistakes).  We’re sisters, so we don’t let each other get away with much.

    HAPPIER listening!

    The post Podcast 65: Enjoy Your Home’s Special Features, Arianna Huffington Talks About Sleep, and the Pleasure of Children’s Literature. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:35:06 on 2016/02/14 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , The book Happier at Home, , ,   

    A Favorite Valentine’s Day Tradition that I Can’t Observe This Year. 


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    ValentineBreakfast2014

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    I’m on a trip to Chicago with my two daughters, so alas, I’m not able to keep one of my favorite resolutions.

    As part of the happiness-boosting experiments I tried while writing The Happiness Project — or was it while writing Happier at Home? — I started the tradition of celebrating holiday breakfasts. For instance, for Valentine’s Day.

    I’ve been doing this for several years now.

    This resolution works alongside some of my other important family-related resolutions, like Be a treasure house of happy memories and Take time for projects.

    Family traditions are an important way to build happy memories and to do fun family projects. Traditions make occasions feel special and exciting. They mark the passage of time in a happy way. They provide a sense of anticipation, security and continuity.

    Studies show that family traditions support children’s social development and strengthen family cohesiveness. They provide the connection and predictability that people crave. I know that I enjoy a holiday more when I know exactly what we’re going to do, and when we’re going to do it.

    Inspired by a friend, I now decorate for holiday breakfasts for all major and minor holidays.

    Usually, for Valentine’s Day breakfast, I put out heart-shaped place-mats, heart-shaped paper plates, scattered some conversation-heart candies on the table and in a heart-shaped bowl, and put some heart-shaped window gels on the windows. My mother sends a little present to each girl, so they had something fun to unwrap. I dye the milk pink.

    This is festive, and importantly, it’s easy. I re-use the same decorations every year, so I don’t have to spend money or do errands (except to pick up a little theme candy). I set the table the night before, so it’s not stressful. I have a very precise place in the kitchen where I store my holiday-breakfast decorations, so I don’t have to scramble to find anything. A big happiness boost, without much effort.

    But this year, we’re traveling, which is very fun — but I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to do the usual holiday breakfast. That’s the thing about traditions; when we love them, we feel sad when they can’t be observed. (The image above is from a previous holiday breakfast.)

    Maybe I’ll spring a heart-themed breakfast on my family at some other point.

    Have you started any new traditions for your family?  (Yes, a “new tradition” is an oxymoron, but you know what I mean.)

    1pix

    HappierAtHomePaperbackIf you want more ideas about how to build more happiness at home, check out my book, Happier at Home. What a joy it was to write that book!

     
  • feedwordpress 16:00:29 on 2015/12/14 Permalink
    Tags: , The book Happier at Home, theme,   

    A Fun Way to Make a New Year’s Resolution: Choose a One-Word Theme for 2016. 


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    word-of-the-year

    I love New Year’s resolutions – and I’m not the only one. Some 44% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions.

    I love resolutions,, and as I wrote about in my book Happier at Home, for the last several years, I’ve identified one idea, summarized in just one word, as an overarching theme for the entire year.

    My sister Elizabeth often does this kind of resolution, too. Last year her theme is “Novel.” One year was the year of “Free Time,” another, “Style,” another “Hot Wheels” — that year, she got a car and started driving; she and I have both struggled with a fear of driving, which was much tougher for her, given that she lives in Los Angeles and I live in New York City.

    Another friend of mine does the same thing. One year, I remember, was “Dark,” another was “Make.”

    For 2015, I chose “Upgrade.” In this post from January 2, I wrote, “I want to take many areas of my life to the next level. ”

    And I’m happy to say, that this year, I did upgrade in a big way. With my new podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin! This podcast is a whole new adventure for me and Elizabeth, my co-host sister. New people, new skills, new challenges, new fun. And as I’d hoped, that feeling of “upgrade” made me feel energized and gratified. We’re especially excited today, because we just found out that iTunes named us one of the “Best of 2015” podcasts. Yowza!

    And of course, my book Better Than Before came out in 2015, too. I’ve written lots of books, but it’s exciting every time, and every time, a new world opens up, afterward. It’s so thrilling to put ideas out there, to see what people say.

    For 2016, I’m cheating a little, and allowing myself two words: “Lighten up.”

    This isn’t a new aim of mine. I have Twelve Personal Commandments, and “Lighten up” is actually #9.

    I tend to get intense and worked up, and I take myself too seriously. I want to remind myself to take things lightly, keep a sense of perspective, and see the funny side of things.

    To inspire myself to lighten up, I just watched that scene from the movie Stripes: “Lighten up, Francis.” And I re-read one of my favorite lines, from G. K. Chesterton: “It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light.”

    I’ve heard so many great ideas: Adventure, Renew, Energize, Bestow, Grace, Travel, Free, Rest, Finish.

    Have you ever tried this choose-a-theme approach? What did you pick — or what might you pick, for 2016?

    If you’d like to read more about choosing one-word themes for the year, I talk about it with my sister in episode 26 of our podcast, and I write about it in my book Happier at Home.

     
  • feedwordpress 04:40:32 on 2015/12/04 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , rituals, The book Happier at Home,   

    What Do You Do with Holiday Cards? Keep, Toss, Store…? 


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    grinch

    This week  we started getting holiday cards in the mail. I love it! I love seeing photos of people’s families, and I love the friendly feeling of getting all that good mail (for once).

    But here’s the question: what do you do with the cards?

    I admire the cards, keep them on the table in the hallway for a few days so that my husband and daughters can admire them — and then I toss them.

    When I mentioned this to a friend, she literally gasped out loud. She was shocked. She keeps cards through January before she throws them away, and she thought it was callous and disrespectful of me to toss them so quickly. (She didn’t say that to me, in just those words, but I got her drift.)

    Some people display cards, on the fridge, the mantelpiece, the bulletin board. But I like a bare fridge, and we don’t have a mantelpiece or bulletin board to use. So if I kept them, they’d just be in a stack on a counter someplace.

    I started asking friends what they did, and I discovered that one friend keeps the cards. Indefinitely.

    Now, I do keep a copy of our annual card — which, as I explain in Happier at Home, we send at Valentine’s Day, because life is so crazy in December. If my sister or my parents sent cards, I’d keep those cards. But to keep every card we get? Even from close friends? In a New York City apartment, every inch of space is valuable. And even if I lived in a giant barn in the country, I wouldn’t keep the cards. It would be too much space, devoted to items of too little personal value.

    I don’t want to sound like the Grinch.  As I said, I love seeing the cards, and I appreciate the effort that people go to, to send them. Ancient philosophers and contemporary scientists agree that relationship are a key — probably the key — to happiness, and holiday cards are a tradition that helps to keep social bonds going. And it makes us happier to be reminded of the people who are important to us.

    But I feel like once I’ve seen the cards and been reminded of the relationship, they’ve done their work.

    Are you shocked by the idea of throwing them out after just a few days? If you save them for a certain amount of time, how long?

    What do you do with holiday cards?

     
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