As I relax and watch re-runs of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine on Netflix while entertaining my seven month old son, I can’t help but wonder at how spoiled we are by all of these modern conveniences—pre-made plastic toys, televisions, Internet access, streaming video, central heat, dishwashers, and disposable diapers, to name a handful. First world problems abound, but I wonder how many of these “problems” are caused by our attachment to modern conveniences. Simplifying life will often reduce the number of perceived problems if not reduce the real problems. After all, is a broken dishwasher a problem or a reason to remove it and add some extra drawers, or perhaps it is the impetus needed to remodel the kitchen and learn cabinet-making? That may be a stretch, but you see what I mean.

I love my Kindle as much as the next person. That’s a lie. I love it more than the next person, but when it, or rather its battery, gave up the ghost, I turned to my bookshelves to use a traditional book for reading. There’s just something about holding a written page…

This holiday season, look for ways to simplify your life, slow down, pull a book off the shelf, curl up with some hot cocoa or an eggnog, and learn how to repair that dishwasher, because the dishes are really starting to pile up, and I’m certainly not going to wash them by hand.