In the book, Creole Thrift (currently one of my favourites!), I found a passage that so perfectly stated what I was trying to say yesterday:
Although they like quality and first-class trappings, Creoles intuitively know there are ways to be resourceful; to make do or reinvent what you have on hand.
Don’t think that being cheap and having Creole Thrift mean the same thing, although sometimes they overlap. A Creole would spend any amount of money on good wine, education, books, the opera (the first opera in America was held in New Orleans), and other things related to culture, status and good living.
This is also very Danish, very French, very Hygge and something I often have a hard time explaining in America.
I often hear people say how expensive the fabulous grocer, Whole Foods is, but I never bat an eye. It’s not because I have unlimited financial resources that I can shop there but because I choose to spend my money on the best food I can buy. Knowing that I eat well and healthfully helps me to know I won’t spend as much on healthcare, I won’t feel as crummy during my life, that I am helping local and organic farmers and supporting others in indirect ways. I see the value of Whole Foods, not just the cost. I’d rather spend my money there than at say, a Target store on things I don’t need. Life isn’t about being cheap – it’s about living well.
It’s about buying luxurious curtains and, when tired, turning into a dress, or a slip cover, or a pillowcase. It’s about having four dresses you adore and fit perfectly instead of 25 with stains, tares and you never really like wearing but bought because it was on sale. It’s about looking beyond the immediate gratification for long term satisfaction. It’s about being honest, sincere, patient and resourceful.
One can live well on very little – it’s just about choice and resourcefulness. Perhaps they won’t dine on caviar and receive diamonds at Christmas but one can still live well in simple ways.
That’s not just Creole, that’s Hygge.