Simple Gifts is the Peace Song of the Day for December 19th. It is a Shaker song written by Joseph Brackett in 1848. You can find the lyrics to this song, as well as additional, new lyrics about loving, poverty, and liberty, in the Rise Up Singing songbook.
This song causes me to reflect on the idea of Voluntary Simplicity — keeping things simple, and doing with less, even if you can afford more. At this holiday season, it is nice to enjoy the simple gifts of family and sharing. Hope you will consider shopping less, making your own presents, and studying ideas about Voluntary Simplicity. You can find books on that topic at your local book store, or at Powells Books: here.
Judy Collins performs Simple Gifts (‘Tis The Gift To Be Simple) in this video from 1963:
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‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain’d,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.
Want to learn more about Voluntary Simplicity and spending less money?
Look for “The Least Impact Zone” in our Compassionate Shopping Star Mandala: here.
Or, find this book. Kimberly and Ian have both read “Your Money or Your Life”, and recommend it highly: