Intentional Living: Christmas Returns

I wanted to share the story of the Christmas gift that I purchased for Mikey last month. It was a fairly expensive piece of coffee equipment called the Ratio 6 (affiliate link should you choose to try it). It has been raved about by coffee addicts for being a drip machine that produces pour-over-quality coffee. We’ve been dying to try it for ages, but the high price point prevented us from buying it. Finally, I decided a joint Christmas/Anniversary gift would justify the splurge. However, the purchase did not go as planned.

We tried the Ratio 6 the week after Christmas. It looked gorgeous on our countertop. Easy to use, we thought this would be the perfect coffee maker for when the baby arrives. As we hope to have help in the form of grandparents, we figured that our community would involve a lot of people needing caffeine. It was a gift that we hoped would give to others.

And it made stellar coffee. Just as people said it would. However, the one part we didn’t like about it is the way the kettle poured the coffee. It splashed and gurgled due to an odd interior design. The anatomy of the spout had a lip that caused a bump during the pour. It was a mess to serve coffee from. Because of that one flaw, we decided to return it.

I don’t share this story to promote a snobbish sense of character. But the machine cost an arm and a leg, and the value just wasn’t there. In terms of functionality, it didn’t deliver the ease of use we wanted. So, we ended up trading it in for a standard Mr. Coffee machine that cost a tenth of the price. We figured that the purpose was to make big batches of joe that would sustain our community of baby helpers. We compromise by using quality coffee and water to begin with, and settle with less than pour-over standards for the sake of convenience. Plus, we saved a lot of money.

There was a time when I would have kept the machine. It would have photographed well. It would have made good coffee. People would have oohed and aahed. And I’ve been wanting it for a while. Previous me would use my want as justification enough to keep it. But I have since moved on to a more intentional lifestyle.

The power of intentionality requires that we make decisions based on value. We did not keep the machine because of a singular flaw. But for me, if it isn’t 100%, it isn’t anything at all. Some would overlook a short-coming so “minor”. I mean, it made dang good coffee at the push of a button. I give it cred. However, I saw the “minor flaw” as a reminder, as well as a relearning of a lesson. We can choose to spend our money on things other people convince us is “worth it”. But if you yourself don’t believe it to be true, have the courage to walk away. The media will sell. The group will convince you otherwise. Remember this: don’t waste your time on things that fall short. Life will not wait.

Unembarrasing Tips for Decluttering Christmas Gifts

  • Return for cash or credit.
  • Regift to others.
  • Resell on Poshmark or Craisglist.
  • List on your local Buy Nothing Group

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

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