Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway - Index

Customer Responses (for all of 2005)


I ordered Earth Day and The Tree for Sunday School class. I'll order others if they're this good. -Shadyside Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh, PA

So many years ago that I cannot remember how many - perhaps 15, more or less - I wrote on a white paper napkin: "Develop Spiritualities of Cultural Resistance." I must have heard those words, though I have no recollection from whom, or where or when - but they have made a deep and lasting impression on me.  I was "blown away" when I read this same advice in your 40-day Guide for Lent! I wanted to write and ask if you knew the source of these extremely important, significant words! With all my best wishes, Dorothy Jean Mock, Pisgah Forest, NC



Your 40-day reflections for Lent -- YES! We handed the bulletin inserts out to catechists, youth, etc. You all rock! Simple Living is an important, meaningful message to pass on. Elizabeth Teall, Gastonia, NC

Thank you again for your sensitive materials regarding observance of Lent and Easter. I am enclosing my check for the royalties on my making copies of "Taking More Time to Reassess" for our congregation. I am putting one week at a time in our Sunday bulletins. I really like your ideas. Thank you!



I work for a full-time service program, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, which is rooted in the values of simplicity, social justice, spirituality, and community.  I've been looking for simple lifestyle resources to pass along to our volunteers, and I've already found your website very helpful.  Thank you for the important work you do. Peace, Monica Frazier, Houston, TX

As a former board member, when I was director of the Presbyterian Hunger Program, I am happy to celebrate the good works of Alternatives through the years. We need you more than ever! - Colleen Shannon



Appreciate your focus. We plan to use Stages on the Way [Lent], 1000 Paper Cranes, Badger's Parting Gifts, Win-Win, and William Gordon McDonald Partridge for worship and youth group. Service was prompt. Thank you. - Rev. Faye Buttrick, Minier, IL

I plan to use Living Simply with Children to elicit more ideas to try within our household and community.  Haven't seen many of your titles elsewhere. How about t-shirts or totebags with messages similar to your bumper stickers? Prices are great! Service was quick. -Daniel & Laura Hoskins, Brattleboro, VT



Congratulations on your 30th anniversary! Your ministry is needed more now than ever before! -- Mira Mosle, BVM, former board member, Dubuque, IA


I just received the Fall/Holidays 2004 Resource Guide today (Master Catalog 2004-2005) and had to stop and write to let you know how much I enjoy this publication. I am especially appreciative of the enclosed supplement "LET'S PUT 9-11 INTO PERSPECTIVE" by Gerald Iversen, National Coordinator.

I shared this with our Pastor and am asking for your permission to reprint this article in our "Trumpet" newsletter. If you will grant permission awe will reprint your "logo" ALTERNATIVES FOR SIMPLE LIVING along with your mailing address and web site. It is well written and thought provoking article that we would like to share with our congregation.

We ALL need to present the "alternatives" -- both inspirational and practical means to simpler living. God bless you.

Goldie Wieland, Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Bryan, OH


2/9/05 -- Ash Wednesday

What a lovely collection this time! [Winter Bundle, Alternatives' Resource Club] I wanted to keep them all -- but in the interest of simplifying my "book habit" a bit, I am sending some back. Blessings. Dianne Harper, Asheville, NC


I ordered "Everyone Wins" for my grandchildren. Eloise Phillips, Walla Walla, WA


"Credo" by William Sloan Coffin and "Rabble Rousers" were a gift from my daughter. I've been using your resources for nearly 30 years. -- Barbara Foster, Frederick, MD


Alternatives is absolutely the best medicine for what ails our hollow-souled consumer culture. Thank you for striving to restore sanity to our minds and humanity to our hearts. Respectfully, Dorothy Jeane Moch, Pisgah Forest, NC



I ordered book as gifts from your web site. Like the philosophy. MaryAlice Frain, Lancaster, MA


I read with great interest about your network and would like to help as I am able and be connected to other folks who share this concern for simple living.

I'm a Dominican Priest in the Anglican Order of Preachers, and in addition to parish work, I teach/speak on Christian living in several settings and I am available to help spread the message of voluntary simplicity in my community and  as far away as 200 miles.

In Jesus, the one who calls us into simplicity,

Father Kevin OP

The Rev. Fr. Kevin Goodrich OP

Gloria Dei Church

Huntingdon Valley, PA


I ordered the "National Green Pages," "Better World Handbook" and "A Gift for the Christ Child" for myself and a small group. Your resources are informative, helpful. Bridgett Keith, Allendale, NJ



Is there a point where one finds joy in Simple Living, as I often feel so alone in this endeavor and really want to avoid being a "lecturer" or seen as "holier than thou" type of person!?

I ordered "More-with-Less Cookbook" and "Eating to Save the Earth" as gifts. I like what you sell. Judith Polege, Stratford, WI


I plan to use "Spirit of Simplicity: Quotes & Art" for the church bulletin. Also ordered "Wedding Alternatives." How about more posters? Good pricing. You rock! -- Trinity UMC, Atlanta, GA


I am pleased that my vision has been continued and expanded all across America. And the new home is marvelous. Enclosed is a small donation. I've directed 2020 for 18 years as a fulltime volunteer and our message is so foreign in Mississippi we've always been poor.

For the children,


Bob Kochtitzky, founder, Alternatives for Simple Living

Mississippi 2020 Network, Inc.: 20/20 Vision for a Sustainable Future, Jackson, MS



"Ten Amazing People," "Living Simply with Children," Prayers" and various bumper stickers are just what I wanted as a father and a classroom teacher. I like supporting you. Just keep up what you're doing! -- Scott Morrison, Boone, NC


We're glad to have "Break Forth into Joy" (plus "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas") on DVD broken into segments for two or three 45 minute sessions of an adult Sunday a.m. class. I receive what you offer by mail and email. I like what you offer and am glad to know about your resources. I'm glad the Presbyterians give you some support. --Mary Duggan, Claremont, CA


Thank you for getting my order to me so quickly! I ordered Conscious Consumer, Plug-in Drug, Guided Journal and Selected Poems of Wendell Berry as gifts and to be used by my family and myself in our quest to simplify and live more fully. I have always been pleased with the materials I have ordered from you! Please keep up the good, very important work you do!

I am enclosing a $50 contribution for The Earth Dome. I hope your organization keeps up your important work for a long time to come! Sincerely, Kimberly S. Browning, Lexington KY



We put the Gandhi and "Living More with Less" posters on our frig. We gave "Living Simply" study guide to friends for Christmas. Your products support our values. I'm content with what you offer. Excellent service! :)-- Sue Wilkens, Siletz, OR


Hi, Gerald -- Thanks for your on-going Alternatives email.  I read them (in under a minute!) and often pass them on. Many thanks!  I look forward to receiving more updates on your great program. -- Nancy Matthews, Kitchener, ON  :-)


Please accept this donation.  It's not much but I am a non-working housewife without much discretionary money at my disposal.  I do support your cause and am happy with the materials I have ordered from you in the past.  Elaine Ritzka, West Milwaukee, WI

P.S. Great envelope-saving idea!



I ordered Wedding Alternatives for my wedding in August. My sister liked your celebrations book. Anita Peyser, Salt Lake City, UT


I ordered Faith the Cow, Beatrice's Goat, Quiltmaker's Gift, Storytelling with Children, and Seeing Red: anger management curriculum for our summer camp. They're good quality and thought provoking. Yes! Keep on doing what you're doing! -- Shepherd's Spring, Sharpsburg, MD


Great news about the geodesic dome! You must be psyched. It seems like a great symbol for the organization, and I hope will lift your profile. I must say I think the aging of the boomers will bring issues of simplifying life to the fore: like others of my generation, I feel choked by the decades worth of "stuff" piled up in my house, and since I turned 50 last spring, I've been on a major mission to de-clutter, in every sense. It's so liberating! Hope you and Alternatives have a super year. Cheers, Meg Cox



Yes! I'm satisfied with "Simply the Best: Over 30 Years of Alternatives" and "Spirit of Simplicity: Quotes & Art" We are working with a new committee at our church to deal with social justice issues. -- Trinity UMC, Tulsa, OK


Commendations on your majestic work! The Earth Dome will be a wonderful focus for living out, embodying what you are saying in a thousand ways. Please visit www.jubilee4justice.org to get updates on what we are doing. Alternatives' materials will be part of our March 6th event here. Lee and Juanita VanHam, San Diego, CA


Your Winter/Lent Resource Guide looks great!  A small group of people in our church has become interested in exploring the concept of radical simplicity. I would like to have you mail me twelve copies of this resource guide that I will then distribute to them. The following persons would like to receive your e-mails. Thank you!  And keep up the good work.  Happy moving into your Home in the Dome. Gratefully, Dosia Carlson, Phoenix, AZ



Fraternal greetings at a time of difficult relations across the Atlantic. -- Georg Krause, Aachen, Germany


I ordered by web site for reference and pleasure. Good Stuff. -- Donald Albritton, Marietta, GA


Wow! You are FAST! I apologize for the goof on the check. Must have been a Halfheimer's glitch. I just received a call from my cable company noting that I have the limited channel service. I told him it was more than enough. These books are my birthday gift to myself. Thanks for sending them so speedily. I am impressed with your service (Both delivery and merchandise). -- Jan Potter, Sonora, CA


With Special Thanks for being a support for those of us who try to live simpler. Thank you. Michael J. Stagner, Kingman, AZ



Thank you for returning my call earlier this week. I've received your catalog off and on for years but this is the first I've ordered recently. It ALL looks good! I had to chuckle at one of the titles "The Joy of Not Working." How I'd LOVE to be working! :( I've been on medical disability for 7 years now. I guess I need to remind myself that NOT working is a privilege others don't have. I've always endorsed simple living as a CHOICE. (I worked with Mennonite Central Committee for 4 years), but now it is also a NECESSITY. That's why I asked your advice about which items to buy.

By the way, have you seen the magazine "Real Simple"? I did recently. What a joke! Things in it may be simple in style but they are very $$. It was obviously not geared or those of us who use coupons and shop at thrift stores!! I like your emphasis on simple living not as something chic and trendy but because of your emphasis on justice and sharing. Thanks!


I ordered the Anniversary CD, some Christmas items and a non-holiday book for personal use, to support vendors and give as gifts. I am building my library slowly! Only wish there were a store nearby that carried them so that I could browse and also avoid S&H. I probably prefer books to CDs. I don't enjoy computer work. Service has been excellent! -- Carol Goble, Marion, IN



Just wanted you to know that I very much appreciate your good work and your e-newsletter. An edition of this e-newsletter several weeks ago mentioned Take Back Your Time Day. It was in fact providential that you mentioned it. I had been asked to make a presentation on time management for my local health department, for which I provide an employee assistance program. I gave that presentation a week ago. My concluding idea was that at some point we have done all we can do as individuals to use our time wisely, and then the issue becomes, social, cultural, and political. I read the public policy agenda to the groups to which I presented and they were very interested.  I also referred them on to the website re Take Back Your Time Day.

Keep the faith!

Yours, David Holden


Thank you for your good work to educate and lead by example how to celebrate in a meaningful way. Ann Winegarden, London, Ont., Canada


We ordered "Wedding Alternatives" to share with our son and his fiancé. We respect and support your work. -- Brandt, Dallas, OR



Please, please, please don't say you don't ship overseas. However, if you must, then please tell me how I CAN get a copy of [Unplug the Christmas Machine] workshop leader's guide. I understand that postage will probably need adjusting but that's OK. I just want the guide! [Oct. 6]


I am totally amazed at how quickly you have delivered this order! It was hoping, at best, to get it by Christmas -- and it's already here [Oct. 15]! You people are wonderful! Thank you so much!! -- Pat Pollard, Beechboro, Western Australia


I checked out your website first, then ordered Wedding Alternatives as a resource for couples marrying at our church. I can possibly use other resources in this affluent parish that struggles with having too many possibilities! Excellent service all around. -- Our Savior's, Hartland, WI



I ordered a variety of titles for self and gifts. I heartily agree with your philosophy and have been looking for resources to help me, especially at Christmas.

Let's have lots more

* help for parents in fighting media saturation, especially about toys;

* great straight-talking things like your postcard "Buy Me Nothing! I'll Still Love You";

* anything about spending lavishly of out time an presence to each other rather than expensive and useless gifts;

* the joy of sharing is an expression of gratitude;

* what a "whole" life really looks like.

I have come to see pictures as a metamessage that conveys more than we know, often. -- Imelda Smith, DeKalb, IL



My sister sent me Wedding Alternatives before my wedding and now I am sharing this wonderful resource. -- Maria Makela and Robert Tarpinian, Grand Forks, ND


I believe in what you are doing and share your vision and sense of mission. Keep up the good work. -- Fr. Bob Cushing, Augusta, GA


I received your invitation to a free 1-year membership as a seminary graduation gift. I graduated this spring from Candler School of Theology with a Masters of Divinity. Please add me to your membership and mailing lists.

Thank you for the services and materials you provide. I have seen your newsletters throughout my time at Candler and look forward to participating more actively with your philosophies.

Peace and blessings to you,

Rev. Kay Seitz, Tucker, GA



Keep up the good work -- you give us hope! Claude and Mary Alice Cesard, Paramus, NJ War is the real enemy!


Greetings!  I fairly recently ordered from you a copy of Greening Congregations Handbook" (check info deleted [ed]).  The book arrived in good time and has gone to the newest member of our church's Creation Care Commission--so thank you!  As always, your service is terrific!  I, however, managed to either lose or misplace the invoice, so I can't be reimbursed by the church.  Is there any way I could get a copy of the invoice from you (it came to $29)?  I would be more than happy to pay a service fee. Linda K. Ross, Santa Rosa, CA

Thank you!  And God bless!Shalom, Linda Ross


Our family has really tried to simplify this past Christmas. We are trending toward a shared vision -- but it is not an automatic, easy change! I shared info about your organization in Aug. with family and with my mom's group -- a local chapter of "Families for Natural Living." Bumper Sticker idea: Support Local Farmers. -- Monica DeMott Lewis, Norfolk, VA



I strongly support your work.  We have organic farmer relatives and support sustainability.  We save dish water to water flowers and trees.  We have a woodburning stove for heat. I volunteer for many organizations & put up displays at protests & training & meetings.  I have used your materials.  I have been a member of Slow Down Network but have not had many requests.  Appreciate your efforts.  I forward your Email's to people I hope will use them!  Mary Manglitz, Lincoln, NE


Greetings! I received my first Alternatives Celebrations catalogue in 1984 from a cousin.  Since then I have used this resource in a myriad of ways.  When I became a United Methodist pastor and moved to Iowa in 1990 I used it for renewing and reclaiming worship as "holy-days."  Many times I have helped myself and others -- in sermons and children sermons, etc. -- to remember the original, non-commercialized meanings of holidays.  Over and over again the resources you provide help me to examine my "style of living" as I try to live simply and seek to live in a peace-ful and just way to help promote healing in a world that is hurting. Thanks for helping keep me to celebrate life in "alternative" and more wholistic ways.

Praying for peace...

Blair Frank, Cedar Rapids, Iowa



"Diary of a Compost Hotline Operator" arrived quickly. Enjoyable and educational information on composting. Found you online. -- Kathleen Schomaker, Hamden, CT


Thanks for the good work y'all do! I'm always impressed to see all the great resources in your selection. Keep it up! Andy Johnston, Atlanta, GA


I ordered "The Joy of Not Working," "Radical Simplicity" and "Hope's Edge." I like the products and information I get from Alternatives. I like your products. Keep up the good work. -- Linda Freeto, Midlothian, TX


I saw your video "Break Forth into Joy" in a presentation and ordered for higher education use. Appreciate prompt service. Thank you. -- Mary Ann Jansen, Cincinnati, OH


Thanks for all you do!!! --Rebecca Wainright, Presidio, TX



A friend loaned me the book Wedding Alternatives when I was planning my wedding! Now I am buying it for my sister! -- Beth Bowman, Pittsburgh, PA


Hey Everyone

Greetings of peace from the Colorado Rockies. Just a short note to say "Thank You" from the bottom of my heart for your website. I sure hope to see even more articles regarding the Christian call to simplicity. Thanks again.

Mark, Nederland, Colorado


I ordered Stories and Songs of Simple Living to give away. I appreciate your message. Thanks for being! -- Peggy ReifMiller


We ordered "Growing Compassionate Kids" for a project for school. Yours is the only place to buy stuff like this. How about USED books? -- David and Jessica Fischlie, Souderton, PA



I've used "Break Forth into Joy" video for retreats to sensitize folks toward a simpler way of living. Good responses. Thank you. Marjorie Hoyer Smith, St. Helena, CA


I've been receiving Simply: 60 for a time now and appreciate the causes you represent.  I've been asked to be the Peace Contact Representative for our church for the next year.  Along with many other aspects of life, I consider changes to the way we celebrate Christmas to certainly be a peace issue.  The "Prince of Peace" often seems to get little attention in our American celebration and that spirit can engage us as followers of Christ as well. Thanks in advance for introducing me to your available materials.  Lois Leidig, Canton, OH


Thanks for doing such wonderful work. Your organization is one of the finest groups we know that work toward peace and justice. At this time I our lives, we truly are living more simply. Being retired is a little harder that we thought. We wish you the best in coming years, keep up the good work. Shalom, Gail Royster, Conroe, TX



I gave a meditation at our local retired United Methodist Ministers' luncheon this afternoon and told them about your good work. They took up a collection for you and I am enclosing their amount. I loaned out my Advent worship booklet from you folks and it has not been returned. Any chance you could send me another copy? I really like the meditations by Esther Armstrong and Dale Stitt. Hey are great writers, I get their Journey into Freedom newsletter. Keep up the good work and if you need a speaker in my area, I would be glad to help out occasionally. Grace and peace, Tom Neufer Emswiler, Champaign, IL


The Beatitudes posters added to a sermon based on the Beatitudes. They arrived in time to hang in the sanctuary. Thanks for the prompt service. Marjorie Vader Wagen, Downers Grove, IL


We ordered 100 Paper Cranes, When Corporations Rule the World, Were You There and bumper stickers for resale at our Ten Thousand Villages store. Great selection. -- Nancy Larsen, Sioux Falls



Great job you are doing!! -- Martin Manahan, Walla Walla, WA


I plan to use "Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?" in "Advent by Candlelight" Program in November. I heard about you in our church bulletin. Your salesperson was very friendly and helpful and I like the content of the Resource Guide. -- Darlene Caldwell, Urbandale, IA


I plan to use "Living More with Less" and "Six Weeks to a Simpler Lifestyle" in a small group study at church. You're one of the few places I know to get such materials. Service is great. Don't soup up the catalogue -- KISS! (Keep it super simple). -- Olson, Champaign, IL


Yes, I'll try to use as many "Carols with Justice" as I can this Advent. -- The McAuley's, Lansing, MI


Thanks for keeping the dream alive. -- Stephen D. Mayberry, Raleigh, NC



If you can spare them, my church could use several of your catalogs.  We showed the video Affluenza as part of our Lenten series and it was a huge hit.  We may spin off a discussion group as part of our response to this and our other topics. Thank you.  Rev. Iris K. Burnell, Edgecomb Congregational Church, New Harbor, ME


I give this gift membership with appreciation for your vision, leadership and work! -- Mary Gail Nagai Jacobson, San Marcos, TX


After having completed the Church Adult Study Group-Curing Affluenza, I feel that it is important to keep this going.  So, I'm going to learn more and see what little I can contribute to this purpose. -- David M. Klinger, Redlands, CA


I ordered "Simply the Best: Over 30 Years of Alternatives" for personal growth and to plan my wedding. Simplicity and justice are very important to me. Any resource to continue down this path are beneficial and welcome. Products are very reasonably priced and delivery was SO quick! Thank you. --Marisa J. Niemiec, Minneapolis, MN



I heard about "Unplug the Christmas Machine" in your "Simply :60 Seconds" e-newsletter and plan to use it in adult Sunday School. Love your Messages. -- Presbyterian Church, State College, PA


Thanks for your call last week. In these difficult times there are many needs but "simple" can help with many of them. -- Warren Shufeldt, Springfield, IL


I'm hoping to use the music CDs with our youth group as they prepare liturgy for the Easter season. -- Mary Beth Rivetti, St. James Episcopal Church, Pullman, WA


I've been receiving your catalog for a while, and love it.  I haven't been able to order anything yet, but really appreciate y'all sending it to us.  There are several things I'm as soon as I can.  Thanks so much for what y'all are doing.  This is a wonderful ministry! God bless, Bridgett Foreman, Old Glory, TX



"Whose Birthday?" is a great resource. I use it with my family. Your resources are spiritually rewarding. God Bless You for providing Christian resources that are an alternative to Right Wing Christian resources. -- Jolaine Watson, North Shore, Unite Methodist, Manorville, NY


I ordered the "Leader's Guide to Unplug the Christmas Machine" to lead a workshop. I have read the book. Good stuff. Thanks for being there (here!) -- Sewanee University of the South, Sewanee, TN


First Lutheran Church in West Barnstable, MA, held an alternative gifts fair last year and in 2003, and raised over $4000 this year for gifts of hope. Local charitable organizations -- Heifer Project, SERRV, Koinonia Foundation, etc. Your materials on web site were very helpful. I am not the pastor. I am a member of the Outreach Committee of the Church. Rev. Stanley H. Knull, Centerville, MA [booklet enclosed]



"Whose Birthday?" has great stories and ideas to have a more spiritual Christmas. Good materials. Service was great! -- Betsy Maples, New Tazewell, NJ


I plan to use "More-with-Less Christmas" for myself and maybe a Sunday School class. Content, design -- it all looks good. I use your resources to learn more and to share with friends. Cynthia Lanier, Idaho Falls, ID


We ordered the "Alternative Wedding Book" as a gift to our engaged daughter. -- Ruth Basney, Lowell, MI


We ordered the Christmas Campaign Kit for a children's Christmas program. -- First United Methodist, Ames, IA.


Mom got your magazine when you first started years ago, and dragged out an old issue when she realized my interest in these topics three years ago. -- Susan Polege, Dodgeville, WI



May the majority of us wake up, thanks to people like you! -- Bonnie Oviatt Boland, Studio City, CA


I bought a copy of "Turn Off [Unplug] the Christmas Machine" 10 years ago at the University of the South, Sewanee. Now I use it as an adult class offering at church. It is something I've always been interested in. Your prices are great! -- John and Judy Badders, McAllen, TX


Thank you very much for your catalogue I enjoy going through it and underlining the books I will buy. I intend to change my life, I have been doing so for many years casually but now it is time to take this direction in my life more seriously. I find that I am effecting people around me unintentionally. Thank you again. Cliff Viscount


We used four Advent devotions from "Whose Birthday?" last year in our church with positive response. Thanks for your materials. Betty Neal, Sioux Rapids, IA



I'm a French stay-and-work-at-home Mom, living near Paris. Being quite feared to see how our society is becoming, I'd love to follow your path, including some of your ideas of action in my daily living, which is quite easy, but also in our celebrations.

However, even if I've been raised in a catholic-believing family, I'm a convinced atheist. I have strong values, which are quite the same of every Christian people (and a big part of other religious people), but I don't believe and celebrate "religiously". Your ideas about Christmas are really interesting, and I'd really like to "get rid" of the bad part of Santa for example. Today my son is 4 yo and I don't talk a lot about Santa, even if he's the center of his preschool's attention. The difficult part in celebrating Christmas without putting a big deal (not really a big budget... we homemake a lot) on the gifts is quite difficult. We search for traditions which are neither of a religious kind, neither of a commercial kind... Do you have some ideas we could use?

Stéphanie [Pascal et Stéphanie Bujon-Lantran]


Greetings, Stéphanie,

Thank you for your interest in Alternatives for Simple Living. You will receive our free email newsletter (called "Simply :60" because it's meant to be read in under a minute). How did you hear about us?

Our web site contains hundreds of free articles for personal inspiration and practical ideas. At the Home Page click on Archives.

We are progressive Christians who serve everyone. We are not a proselytizing organization.

We do ship internationally. Please order using a credit card.




We sure like the larger edition of "Birthday" and the goodly number of inter-active features for families. My wife made the "hands" t-shirt and shared it with a class at Westminster. Peace.Dick Kiefer, Des Moines, IA


I ordered "Unplug the Christmas Machine" Pack for a workshop. Heard about it through "Celebrate Simply" by Nancy Twigg. I like the mission of Alternatives. -- Barbara Howard, Moorseville, NC


Thanks for your help and thanks for your ministry among us. Shalom, Rev. Howard J Self, Nashville, IL


Enclosed is a check for "Carols with Justice." We made copies that are included in a binder of music. Our people have enjoyed using the new stanzas. --Pauline Lange, Emanuel-St. John Lutheran, Lytton, IA



I ordered "Carols with Justice," "Simple Living Labels," "What Does JESUS Want for Christmas?" (pageant) and "To Celebrate" to use as resources. The information is very useful. -- Hilda Saulsbury, Philadelphia, PA


We plan to use "Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?" in our Advent small group. -- G. M. Services, Centralia, IL



I'm really thrilled with the new catalog and the honorary board. Alternatives seems to be moving toward a new strategy for its next 30 years! I am praying about how to use/share your resources this year at Christmas. Peace, Christine (The Leonard Family, Hilo, HI)


I ordered "Shine on, Star of Bethlehem" as a school resource. I'm a member. Your resources are great! And helpful. Keep up the good work! -- Skutt Catholic high School, Omaha, NE



Dear Friends,
I thought you might like a copy of our Christmas Concert program in which we used three of the texts from Carols with justice. The acknowledgment is at the end of the page of program notes.

They were well received. In attendance was a Lutheran pastor who heads cross-border ministries between CA and Mexico. He sent an email to people involved in an upcoming project, in which he wrote:

Last Sunday I was at a very progressive church where they sang "O Come, All Ye Faithful." After the first verse ending ... O come let us adore him... they sang this verse... "Then go, you who love him, into every nation, teaching his word of love to all humankind; feeding the hungry, fighting for the lowly, O come, let us obey him, Christ the Lord." It was powerful. Some have found a way to proclaim in the context of today's world.

I hope that encourages you in your work.

I'm eager to receive the CD-ROM and other things I ordered when I called for permission to use these carols.

Robert Plimpton, Minister of Music, Christ Lutheran Church, Pacific Beach, CA



We'll give the "Whose Birthday?" books to those attending church. We use your material to look at our lifestyles. Also, your "30 Years of Alternatives" CD-ROM and "The Shoemaker's Dream" meet my expectations. Yes, we want to spread the simpler message. Service is excellent. -- Jimmy and Nancy Renfro, Wayland, IA


I don't think I've been more impressed by an article (or a web-site for that matter) in the past decade than I was with the article, "Good-bye Santa! Hello, St. Nick!"!!!  I could not agree with (the article) more whole-heartedly!!  And what an outstanding, well-researched web-site for it to have been presented on! THIS is what intelligent, Christian, adults have been craving for sometime now! All I can say is Outstanding, Outstanding, Outstanding!!! If there is any additional information you can forward me about this "Alternatives for simple living" then please do so at your earliest convenience! Thanks in advance! Sincerely (and most appreciatively), Arienne P. Ludengow


Thanks for all your good work! -- Gretchen Shilts, Fairfield, CA



We used "Whose Birthday?" "The Christmas Game" and "Let's Talk About Christmas" for a Family Holiday Event at the church and handed them out to others, some with Advent wreaths. We've used "Whose Birthday?" in the past. I appreciate your resources to use with parents. I think they're great! Thanks! -- The Stone Church of Willow Glen, Presbyterian, San Jose, CA


Keep up the great work! -- Sheila Whitney, Poughkeepsie, NY


Hi from Australia. Have just found your website and am most impressed - though I haven't had a chance to read much of it yet.  I have been thinking for years about how to spread the message of simplifying Christmas - it's great to find it's already being done so well.  Is there any way I can get hold of some of your resources in Australia... ??  Do you ever post overseas? Thanks in anticipation...

Meredith Hudson



We'll distribute "Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?" to church school families and others. The person who took my order as extraordinarily friendly and helpful. Community UCC, Raleigh, NC


Your Christmas Campaign Kit addresses the "how to do" what our hearts and Christian faith desire. We will hand out several items to people from the community at a cookies and candy event and at our Dec. 11th Common rounds Coffeehouse Concert. I'm grateful for what you offer, although I try not to buy much.

I was delighted to see "Journey into Freedom" folk involved with your organization. I dream of having them do a workshop in Omaha!



"Whose Birthday?" (Catholic Ed.) is perfect for our planned use, a parish Advent Afternoon. Price is right! The messages your resources offer fit our mission. Always good prices. -- Office of Religious Ed., Church of the Nativity, Indianapolis, IN


I REALLY appreciate the work your organization does! Keep up the good work! I would like to become a Life Member sometime but our finances do not allow it right now. -- Kim Browning, Lexington, KY


I hope to use stories in "Spinning Tale, Weaving Hope" in sermons. I'll give the Appalachian Calendars as gifts. -- Barbara Stroud-Broth, Madison, MN


I loved your site, thank you for taking the time to create it. Please forward the information about simple living. -- Marcy Northrup, Lutz, FL



My church would like to feature your catalog and hence your products at our emphasis on a "Simple Christmas" starting November 7th. Would you please send us 50 catalogs to be distributed to our congregation at a booth each Sunday where we will display the catalog and encourage through sermons and minute speakers our congregation to take the lead in changing the mass shopping spree and bring their focus on the real reason for the season. Thanks for your help in our program. Bill Leverton, Lincolnshire Church of the Brethren, Fort Wayne, In


We will make "Whose Birthday?" available for people's home use. We have used them many years. -- Kathleen Martinez, First Presbyterian, Oneonta, NY


I plan to use your Christmas Campaign Kit (including Whose Birthday, Guided Journal and Alternative Giving Cards) in our Christian Education and as handouts in the parish. Helpful. Barbara Barth, Auburn, ME



You all are great! I support your work. Please send me your "special deal" 25 item Christmas Campaign kit for $19. Thanks! I got your Thank You for the $100 I sent and am cashing in the "freebie" with this order. Fr. Bob Cushing, St. Teresa of Avila Parish, Augusta GA


Thank you for using the reflections by Esther Armstrong and Dale Stitt [in "Whose Birthday?" 2004]. I subscribe to their newsletter and deeply value their insights. Yours, Paul Garrett, St. Bartholomew the Apostle, Estes Park, CO


Thanks for your ministry. --Beth Beall, First Presbyterian Church, Brighton CO



I ordered "Whose Birthday?" for an adult Sunday School class. I believe in your purpose. -- Kathleen Kind, Lockhaven, PA


HURRAH for all who worked so hard to carry this off! May you and Alternatives prosper in new (curved) surroundings! Best for the Holidays and the New Year(s) -- Dick Webster, Worthington, OH


Just a quick note to say that I really enjoyed your article out at Catholic Exchange, "Cost of Christmas." I followed the link at the bottom of the article to your site, "Alternativies for Simple Living," and I must say that the site looks very interesting. I have bookmarked it, and will be reading up some more on it in the near future.

God bless you and Merry Christmas,

Tom Abbott

St. Stephen, pray for us.



I gave a copy of "Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?" 2004 to each family and encourage them to read it throughout Advent. We will read "Jason's Birthday" at our Advent Breakfast. We will order again if the congregation responds well to receiving copies. We need to be challenged to think about how and why we celebrate Christmas the way we do. The layout is sometimes too cluttered or confusing. Sometimes it's not easily evident for the eyes to follow or find info, please, especially resource pages. Janice Ogoski, Hawaii Kai UCC, Honolulu, HI


I used "When Brian Hugged His Mother" for my adult sermon on Nov. 14th with great success. I also ordered "Whoever You Are," "Whose Birthday" and "What Does Jesus Want for Christmas?" Great stuff. You are our conscience! Thanks for good products, thoughtful topics. Faith United Methodist, S. Burlington, VT


Hi! Just got myself a computer and I wish to remain your contact person in Norman Wells, Northwest Territories. Thank you for being a presence in my life. You do a great job. Monica Loomis



Keep up your good work! It's great to hear about your Earth Dome. We would appreciate a sample in Spanish of "Whose Birthday." --Sisters of St. Francis, Green Bay, WI


Our Environment Committee will present the video "The Global Banquet: Politics of Food" between services at church. How about a video about the harm that may come from genetically modified foods. I just read the book "Seeds of Deception" by Jeffrey Smith. -- Marilyn Kellar, Clifton Park, NY


I don't know how I got one of your pamphlets. It was the one "Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?" I have had it for some time. Last week, I got an email from Gennie Callard, the Youth ministry leader from the Western Michigan Episcopal church. My husband and I are youth leaders and she sent along your website just as an fyi...God has been working with me to simplify my life for many years now...I love your concepts and ideas!! I'm excited to incorporate some of your ideas with the youth. Thank you for your ministry! I am planning on being a member. Just have to decide which membership would best suit our needs at the church. Blessings, Sue Engweiler, Fremont, MI



I plan to advertise and distribute "Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?" --United Church of Hyde Park, Chicago, IL


I ordered the Simple Lifestyle Calendar 2005. I heard about you from a friend. I love the concept and overall idea of your company. -- Callie Flowers, Columbus, MS


I plan to distribute "Adviento" to congregation's leaders. (Ordered it last year.) Very inspirational and alternatives living resources in an Evangelical way. The Spanish version should be more colorful. --Iglesia Evangelica Unida De Rio Piedras, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico



What a joy to receive your Resource Guide. We order "Whose Birthday" each year for our congregation. Both are a tremendous gift. A world of thanks to you.  We need you. I would never go through Iowa without visiting Alternatives. And I will renew my membership; didn't know it'd expired.  I guess I'll just have to simplify my life a little more.... --Michael Caldwell, Barton United Church, Barton, VT


Thanks for your goals and work. Erika E. Lauffer, Middletown, PA


Spirit of Grace Church in Surprise, AZ, had Alternative Christmas gifts for Lutheran World Relief, Lutheran World Hunger and Global Health Ministries. Gifts to kids and grandkids. Total: $30,000+. Blessings! Harvey Stegemoeller, Sun City West, AZ



We're giving out "More-with-Less Christmas" to volunteers, staff, board members and social concerns committee at church. We've ordered "Whose Birthday" for years. -- Feed My People, St Louis, MO


Dear Folks at Alternatives for Simple Living

Unfortunately I don't have even one thin dime to offer you toward the financing of your geodesic home dome/dome home.  But I rejoice with you in this Advent season. I think your organization is absolutely wonderful and always look forward to even a tiny visit to your space when I visit Sioux City which is every 2-3 years or so. Keep up what you are doing.  You have a terrific organization. Blessings of the season on each of you and all those dear to you and let's keep up unrelenting prayer for peace on this poor small earth home of ours. Myrt

Myrtle E. Keller, Chula Vista, CA

"Start by doing what's necessary, then doing what's possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible." St. Francis of Assisi



I ordered "Brother Eagle, Sister Sky" and "Rebirth of the Small Family Farm" to share with friends and family. My mother introduced your catalog to me. I have friends who want to get resources from you. How about more children-based stories for children on the environment and Earth issues that don't push a religion or faith. -- Brianna Anderson, Fayetteville, AR


I like your idea of "green space" in the midst of strip malls, etc. Wish our nearby cities would use more of that!! Donna Lehman, West Liberty, OH


Merry Christmas and love to all! Miss you, Diane (Hockenberry), FL


Enclosed please find a check. We ran copies of the Lenten calendar for our congregation. Thank you for these resources. Sincerely, Beverly Davis, Middle Grove U.M. Church



I share "Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?" with parents for families to use as a discussion piece at home. How about a faith-based children's music? You guys are great! -- Christ Church Cathedral, St. Louis, MO


I am enclosing a check to renew my membership. I appreciate having your many excellent publications as a resource. Thank you for all that you are doing to encourage us to live more simply. Peace in all! Sister Bea Leising, OSF, St. Mary of the Angels, Williamsville, NY


Could you send me a copy of "Hundred Dollar Holiday"?


I LOVE your plans! It's a real high to feel I'm helping. I want to pay my gift in installments. Anonymous, please.



We would like to join Alternatives for one year. I found you on the Web, but I don't remember how.


I have read the book "Simplicity" by John Michael Talbot. I didn't see this one listed in your resource catalog.


We would hope to get guidance from your materials for being more focused in our life on simple living. We are a family with above average income and resources and look to using these responsibly to build God's Kingdom, but it is a challenge and so we are looking for guidance and discipline in our lives and in our children's lives to do this. Hopefully, your materials will be a help to us to accomplish this. --John and Colette Suminski, Crandon, WI



What a wonderful blessing! A friend sent this catalog to me......hadn't really looked until today....my computer is messed up until Saturday so is difficult to peruse the web.  BUT MUST SHARE THIS:

Today my daughter with children 3, 6 and 8 called to say that because they are closing on their house on the 30th of Nov. and moving, she and Tim decided just to go to Mexico for Christmas to avoid the usual chaos..... she mentioned that she wished she could think of a project that the kids could start on so that when they got to Mexico, the children could pass out gifts to the Mexican children on Christmas day.

I immediately gave her your site and she is so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I can hardly wait until my 'puter is running again to visit the site over and over and over.....


Thanks and the lady who put this catalog in my bag (I had purchased candles from her daughter) is out of town and I don't know if she wants it back or if it was a gift????  When my computer is working again properly, I will go to your site. I live in Portland, Texas. My daughter has already ordered lots of cotton Tshirts for their Xmas visit to Mexico.....and may the peace of the Lord be with you.

Gail McIntosh



And what about Epiphany? I once attended a church in which the Sunday after Christmas the pastor directed that all the Christmas decorations be taken down. When I asked about Epiphany and the Wise Men, he replied that he didn't bother with that stuff. I left that church immediately. The three wise men not only have gifts for Jesus, but also for us, but we don't acknowledge this, which I think we Christians should. Blessings.  gini paulsen (Virginia Paulsen) [Subject: Gift of the Christ Child...Simply:60]


I am wholeheartedly supportive of simple living. As a VERY SENIOR citizen, I try to "live lightly on the Earth." However, my resources are limited; hence just a membership as of now. -- Mary Jo Uphoff, Oregon, WI



Thank you so much for what you do for us.  I am indebted to your publications in helping me live the simple life for over twenty years.  May God bless you! Rose Mary Foncree, Jackson, MS


I love your products! Great gifts! -- Christine Keller, Bellmore, NY


Thank YOU! The Global Banquet video is great. Trudy Wischemann, Lindsay, CA


I ordered Utne reader Almanac, The Quiltmaker's Gift, World Holidays, Simple Living Any year Calendar, Living More with Less Study/Action Guide for enjoyment, education and life enrichment. I've seen Quiltmaker's Gift in stores. All the others, I saw first at Alternatives. Yes, you have a great collection of interesting and insightful material. Keep up the good work! Rachel Jenkins, Davidson, NC



"For there are two possible courses to affluence.  Wants may be "easily satisfied" either by producing much or desiring little. The familiar conception, the Galbraithean way, makes assumptions peculiarly appropriate to market economies: that man's wants are great, not to say infinite, whereas his means are limited, although improvable: thus, the gap between means and ends can be narrowed by industrial productivity, at least to the point that "urgent goods" become plentiful. But there is a Zen road to affluence, departing from premises somewhat different from our own: that human material wants are finite and few, and technical means unchanging but on the whole adequate.  Adopting the Zen strategy, a people can enjoy an unparalleled material plenty -- with a low standard of living." From the book "Stone Age Economics" by Marshall Sahlins (Quote of the Month, Charles Leiden, Compost Patch)


I plan to use "Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?" with my children. I'm not satisfied with the layout. How about resources on organizing and "How to select playthings." - Colleen Szabo, West Hartford, CT


I'm returning six copies of Downscaling. We decided to do something different for Advent. Thank you. Keeping two copies or gifts, one for personal use. Great resources to counter our culture. -- Joel and Clair Cannon, Washington, PA


In a message I received today you said: "Economic growth" is a euphemism for plundering of the Earth. We need to be SMART capitalists! The essence of capitalism is that we preserve our capital.

That depends, of course, on what you mean by capitalism. I encourage you all to look into the Catholic literature on the economic system known as distributism. G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc wrote about early in 20th Cent. Schumacher, whom you seem to be quoting, came mighty close to it, though he did not use the word in Small Is Beautiful.

Yours, David Holden, Boone, NC


I am sorry, I have changed my mind about this order. It will not work for the purpose I have. I am disappointed with this image (Whose Birthday, p. 23). How come you could not have used a "live baby," a child? I am pro-choice and this is offensive to me. Again, I am sorry. I have been happy with this product in the past. Joan Frenzel, Prairie Home UMC, Lincoln, NE


I found your website frustratingly hard to use to find things I had identified in the (hardcopy) catalog. (I never did find the "Whose Birthday" gift edition, "More-with-Less Christmas.") -- Steve R. Woodbury, Springfield, VA


I'm returning "Whose Birthday" flyers. The church board was "turned off" by listing of prices and items. Wanted to promote the idea not any resources. Just some input. Thanks. Pastor Joy Lowenthal, Williston, VT


Hello SlowDown Network!  We have recently moved to the NW from the Chicago area and are adjusting and trying hard to connect with folks of similar goals and desires. We love Alternatives, and I have considered doing the Volunteer Slow Down program as a speaker and do have the materials. But we are still getting our feet beneath us, and are unsure if we'll stay here in the Columbia Gorge area or move up into the logged Seattle area.  In any case, how do we link up with other Alternatives/SLOwDown folks?  I've searched the website and can't scare up the needed information. Please tell us what to do, or send us some information. We'd be simply grateful. Thank you!  Herb & Christine Lange, Hood River, OR


"Do not share my name with anyone." THIS should be you default setting! (for simpler living!)  :-)  -- Carl Daniel Homan Jr., Philadelphia, PA


The Gandhi poster came wrinkled and bent, so I had to have it laminated. I plan to use it in an adult school classroom. I believe in your ideas. Posters need to be shipped in cardboard tubes or envelopes. Excellent service -- fast delivery. --Ellen Colopy, San Pedro, CA


Hi, I am putting on the workshop at my parish church on 11/13/2004. I have several copies of the actual book but my copy of the Leader's Guide to the workshop appears to be missing sections. (hand me down copy)

I have tried all the ways I can think of to buy a new copy but its out of print and even the used book sources do not have any. I saw a second printing with your name as publisher but there do not appear to be any available in your catalog either.

Do you have any copies available? Do you have any suggestions where I could find one quickly?

I would appreciate any help you can give me. Thanks,

Debbie Daigle, Adult Faith Formation Coordinator, Prince of Peace Catholic Church, Buford GA


This [cash] is for the substitution of National Green Pages 2005 for two of my "freebie points." I SINCERELY thank you for this accommodation. I support your efforts in spirit (if not in $$ too much) and have passed along a catalog to a like-minded friend. I will be sending the "Whose Birthday Day" booklets (which I ordered as Christmas gifts for friends) NOW, so that they can get a "head start" on this year's holidays.

Thanks you again for the substitution and thanks for All you do.

Sincerely, Carol G.

P.S. I believe the woman who called me back was named RoseMary, Marion, IN



My name is Rosanne. I am an Asian preschool teacher. We have trouble letting parents to understand how materialism affect children, therefore, I do some research on it and I find this organization. I am very interested with this organization and I want to join and become one of your team. But I want know more about the details of this organization. I will be appreciated if you answer my questions? Thank you very much.

Address of agency

Your contact person at the agency

What services are provided

1. Free quarterly Resource Guide (catalog)

2. Volunteer speakers' bureau

3. Web site with hundreds of free articles in the archives.

4. The Earth Dome, environmental demonstration project (local only)

Who is eligible for their services





Monday-Friday, 9-5 Central

Area served

WORLD, primarily U.S.

Sources of funding

1. Sale of resources

2. Memberships and Donations

3. Grants






Thanks so much for trying to get us some information. I consider what you are doing as the real deal... so much good information you have. My goal is to popularize your message. I'm glad you tracked us down. Karen and I have moved back to Winnipeg (address below). I'll change my address on the website. I'll also put a link to <SimpleLiving.org>.


About the musical, A Christmas Karl. The easiest thing for me to do is to send you a 50-page Microsoft Word file, with a request that you not circulate it without my permission. I have limited distribution rights for the next 2 seasons, and then they revert to the playwright. I can also print out another copy for you and mail it. What would you prefer? In the meantime, here is a copy of a poster promoting the musical (I left the local dates off, in case you end up using it to highlight the play on your website).

Thanks again, Aiden.

Aiden Enns

Producer, A Christmas Karl -- A Musical

Co-founder, Buy Nothing Christmas

264 Home Street Winnipeg MB R3G 1X3

Email: info@buynothingchristmas.org

Web: www.buynothingchristmas.org



I'll put these [Whose Birthday flyers] in mailboxes of church members of education staff. -- Marjorie Vader Wagen, Downers Grove, IL


Hi, Gerald!

Hope all is well! Things are crazy but great here! I figured it was about time I join and catch up with all of you :) Lots of ravels here and Dubuque is great! I really enjoy the nonprofit world! Hugs! And Hope to see all of you soon! Vicki Shafer(?)


I'd like to see the Old Testament Feasts as alternative celebratory material.  There is much written from a messianic/christian perspective and it's the original rather than the historical alternatives to these feasts in the form of modern day Christmas/Easter/Pentacost. Guy Freesen, Staunton, VA


I had a copy of the More-with-Less Cookbook and in moving have misplaced it. I've looked in bookstores, but no luck. I was glad to see it here. There are several recipes I like. Sojourners -- I wasn't sure it was still around. Introduced to it in Seminary.  --Sharon Davis, Council Bluffs, IA


I ordered the Simple Living 101 binder to teach workshops. Your catalog has excellent selection. The web site is somewhat hard to use. It took me a very long time to locate the item I wanted, even using the search function. -- Campbell, Sunderland, MA


I ordered "Whose Birthday, Anyway?" for personal use. -- Walter Fircowycz, Marshall, MN


Do you put out anything for World Food Day, Oct. 16th? -- Ruth Clark


I like your catalog and choices, especially "To Celebrate." However, it was printed in 1988 and I was wondering if a newer version was in the works. Sincerely, Marge Ensor, Louisville, KY


Greetings, Marge,

Thanks for your interest in Alternatives. "To Celebrate" was the 6th edition of our "Alternate Celebrations Catalog." "Treasury of Celebrations," the 7th edition, as publishing in 1996. We plan an 8th edition before 2010. As you may notice, to be more Earth-friendly (to save paper and expense) and to appeal to young people, we are publishing more of our resources electronically -- CD's CD-ROMs, web site, DVDs, etc.



Keep up the good work! -- Pat Miller, Columbus, OH


I was just looking over Alternatives' eStore. I am searching for a book on intentional/simple living that would be appropriate for a small group we are considering starting. It will be comprised of Christians who are committed to simple living and who have thought about it in the past, but who have not been in a group to nurture those thoughts in quite some time. Most of us are theologically trained. So we're not looking or a "what is simple living?" book, but rather, a book that delves more deeply into the issues and challenges our lifestyle choices. Do you have any suggestions?


Thanks for your help. Thanks also for your wonderful website. I remember receiving your catalog when I lived in IA (Orange City), but I have made several moves since then and have lost touch. If you have a new mailing list, please add my name and address. Blessings,

Julie Vermeer Elliott, Eastern University, St. Davids, PA


I have been receiving your catalog for several years and have ordered materials on occasion. I am glad that you are putting forth your message (of more time, less stuff) and support it whole heartedly.

However, I am troubled by the heavily Christian tones. I am not a Christian and have no wish to be. As such, I feel that by becoming a member I would be supporting a Christian cause and I do not wish to, as I disagree with the ideology. Firmly.

Please remove my name/info from you list but good luck with your mission!

Lori Del Genis, Cambridge, MA


Greetings, Lori,

Thank you for sharing your concerns. Alternatives serves everyone! To protect the Earth and all her creatures, we need everybody, people of faith and secular people alike. We are not a proselytizing organization.

You need not be a member to order our resources or to use our services. I will change your status to receive only the fall Resource Guide. Please send me your email and phone number so we can communicate more directly.

Gerald Iversen, National Coordinator


Sorry we can't send more but we have been "downsized." Becky Stalnaker, West Chester, PA


Opps!  This dropped through my safeguards after the course -- and then I went into emergency hospitilization. Regret the delay in "paying the piper."  Thanks for sending material. Several students indicated an interest in your philosophies and approach to the various reasons of the church year.  Check - and small donation - enclosed.  Thanks for all.  Yours in His Service.  Bill Kirkpatrick, Fairfax, VA


Hi, I am reading your daily calendar type thing for simple living and today's suggestion was to return junk mail with a letter of complaint.  It said that you had a sample letter.  I get tons of junk mail and catalogs and would like to learn how to put this to a stop.  Any suggestions would be highly welcome. 

One suggestion I have for the daily calendar is to add "active links" to other parts of your web page, or other pages that describe in length the concept or suggestion.  An example, would be to have a link to a copy of the type of letter your are talking about, or a link to a book you are selling, etc. 


Thanks a bunch,
Bethany Febus

BTW: I am loving having simple do-able solutions to the changes I am trying to make in my life.  Thank you!


I am loving your Daily Calander for Simple Living (still, I know I have bugged you about this before) it is really helping me keep it simple and focus on one thing at a time.  This week there was a suggestion for removing your name from marketing lists for phone calls and adds.  I looked up the info online and found the link to do the registration on line (to be removed from call lists)


I thought this might be a helpful add on for those of us who aren't very good at using the snail mail system anymore.  Just an FYI. Bethany Febus, Seattle, WA


I'm the chair of our church Environmental Comm---we've named ourselves the Good Earth Group.  We're having a Good Earth Fair on Feb. 23, to introduce the congregation to our concerns, and educate them on things they can do to help preserve our Good Earth.

One of our committee members sent me an email suggesting the possibility of playing a music tape, I assume available from your catalogue.  There isn't time now, but we'll keep it in mind for another time.  She must have forwarded my response -- so now you know.

Glad to see your address is in Sioux City -- I had nurses training at the old Meth. Hosp there years ago, and went to Morningside College.  I'm hoping to simplify our world, too. Betty May, Phoenix, AZ


I have been trying to find the book (which you have sold in the past) that discusses a proposed WEB (world equity budget).  Can you help?  I've looked at my back catalogs and at your Web site, but I can't locate it.  Also, can you tell me if you have an address for Scott Savage, convenor of the Second Luddite Congress?  I think you've sold his newsletter, etc. in the past.


I'm already on your mailing list.  You are excused.  Your note served to remind me that I need to contact a speaker for a summer meeting.  You have already sent me names. I just need to find the letter.


I have given your wedding book to two couples going through pre-marital counseling. We haven't talked about it yet. Rev. Carolyn L. R. Bittner, UMC, Hornick, IA


Have you seen "Ode" magazine? Found it in a bookstore. Expensive but interesting. "An international magazine with a passion for people and progress." Published in the Netherlands. I appreciate your materials. Thanks. Don Kauffman, Ida Grove, IA


Dear Gerald -- good luck in your move to new location.  Yours, Fran Burst -- your Alternatives video producer from the '80s and '90s! Burst Video/Film, Inc., Atlanta, GA


Thank you! We have enjoyed our copy of ___ so much we are thrilled to give it as a gift. L. ?. Lowry, Woburn, MA


Hi, Enclosed is a check for some items. Thanks for your work. Since I was born in Sioux City and grew up in Iowa (in fact, I was on a Iowa Girls basketball state championship team in 1979 -- East Des Moines), I'm proud that you're based where you are. Cheers and solidarity. -- Sarah Lutherns, Seattle, WA


Good Morning ... My wife and I were trying to remember an article, or perhaps it was a portion of a book that was included in your catalog.  This was around Christmas time, and had to do with a Lilac.  It seems the essence of the story was: You cut off a portion of a Lilac, and put it in water before Christmas, and it will bloom by Christmas ... there was a story connected with this. Is this enough information to drive you crazy looking for it??? Would appreciate any feedback ... thanks much!


REPLY: See "The Jesse Tree" from "Whose Birthday" booklet 1996 and "Simple Living Any-Year Calendar," Nov. 4-6. (both in our web site archives, and "Simply the Best: 30 Years of Alternatives" CD-ROM).


Yeeeee-Haww!  You get a BIG gold star !!!!!!!!!!!!!  Thanks a bunch for your effort. We REALLY appreciate the follow-up and the "homework" -- Denny Lopes, Raymore, MO


I am enjoying your book "To Celebrate." -- Margaret Ensor, Lousville, KY


I hope I have done the arithmetic correctly for this lengthy order. It was hard for me to curtail my desire to obtain even more! If you wish to quote any of the following, you have my permission:

I ordered "Kids Creating Circles of Peace" and "How to Teach Peace to Children" to use with groups I do at school and work. They contain lots of good hands-on things. You carry affordable good materials. How about more resources related to domestic violence for kids?

My mother, who is a reverend, gave me a brochure after a discussion we had about me telling her how pleased I was to have found and ordered a subscription to Mother Earth News. I'm not necessarily looking for resources and I don't know what you already supply or what the scope of your resources are. I support your goals. Beyond that I'm not sure what to do. I don't want to send you $25 and I don't really want anything from you, but I didn't want to just throw your brochure in the garbage either. I love what you stand for and I hope you are making a difference. Here is a check for $25 and I do want to be a member. -- Alan Wells, Edgecomb, ME


Thanks for your response.  I will expect the order shortly. Love your products! Jan Hryniewicz


A call to Peace, Love and Harmony, my foremost desire. Friend, Being a DAV of World War II, I'm somewhat handicapped in several ways. This is the reason why I would like to have you send me "Unclutter Your Home" by Donna Smallin. Thank you! -- Gerhardt Schmeichel, Sioux Falls, SD


Dear Folks at Alternatives (my favorite catalog)

A while ago, I received your e-mail requesting book and bumper sticker suggestions. I could not reply at that time (new baby!) but I am now.  I wanted to suggest the book: Walking My Belief by Scott Savage.

A suggestion for a bumper sticker:  "Simpler, Smaller, Slower and Saner" I had found that phrase in a book called "The Heart Has Its Own Reasons" (p. 15) in a quote: "There's no need for bigger, better, brighter, whiter, faster and shinier.  But there is a need for simpler, smaller, slower, and saner." The book was published in 1983 my La Leche League International, Inc. and was written by Mary Ann Cahill.

Thanks for all your wonderful resources.


Sara Magee, Ringwood, NJ


I missed the 2003 Xmas season, but maybe I can get a head start on 2004. Christmas doesn't seem to be exciting as it was when I was a kid or when my children were kids. Everything is so expensive and meaningless. I have been depressed around Xmas the last couple of years. Need help to make it better this year. I would appreciate that catalog of ideas even though 2003 is over. Thank you. Patricia Lynch, Chicago, IL


I promised to send you book names related to programs on which I have worked.

Last Spring I let an adult elective study at my church using the book GOD AND YOUR STUFF by Wesley K. Willmer.  Navpress 2002

It was well received by 15 regular attenders.  One class member reduced his number of shirts by 30% in one week when he realized he had 77 shirts of all kinds hanging in his closets.  Senior members were very conscious of their need to begin reducing the quantity of the things that stuffed their homes.

I am getting ready to co-lead and elective study on the topic of CREATING A CULTURE OF GENEROSITY in April.  I can let you know more about it later.  The topic came to my consciousness when reading GROWING UP GENEROUS by Roehlkepartain, Naftali, and Musegades.  Alban Institute 2000.

I have also had great pleasure working with the Stewardship Committees in two area churches as we explore concepts found in CREATING CONGREGATIONS OF GENEROUS PEOPLE by Michael Durall.  Alban Institute 1998 and reprinted in 2000 and 2001.

I told you I was not longer getting the catalog from Alban.  This a.m. I went on line [alban.org] and found I could read their catalog there.  The latter two books are described.

So much help just a few clicks away for those of us affluent enough to have access to the Internet.

Brenton Dodge, St. Louis


Hello Gerald,

Thanks for your note.  I was hoping that your editorial board, or whoever makes these decisions, would consider changing the title of the booklet, "Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?"

Historical reasons notwithstanding, that title is misleading, because it is not Jesus' birthday.  Also, I believe that title works against your goal to simplify Christmas celebrations.  Saying that it is Jesus' birthday encourages  the materialistic excesses of our culture, even ewithin the church.

Your goals  would be better served by emphasizing the truth that Christmas is about the incarnation, that God became human to become our Saviour.  Now, that's something to celebrate!!

Sincerely, Art VanderMeulen, ___Reformed Church, London, ON, Canada


Please delete us from Simply 60; not much info of use, just promo of your materials. John Hilpert, Louisberg, NC [1 issue per month]


Please send me a quantity of the Easter catalogs, and I will be happy to distribute them, also to mention them in my newsletter. Thanks, Marliss Rogers


REPLY: May we put you on our "standing order" list to receive a specific number each quarter? I notice you ordered 25 before. Is that OK?

Sure, Gerald, that is fine. I will see they get distributed. I hope you get some orders that way.  Plans for the new building sound great! Good luck.


Please remove me from your mailing list. I'm struggling to keep connected in my marriage and simple living is not on my husband's current agenda. Hopefully I'll be in touch in the future. Thanks for all you do in your valuable ministry. -- Beverlee L., Geneva, IL


Congratulations! The $100 is a Christmas gift in honor of Howard and Miriam Iversen -- Arlene Hedrick, Auburn, CA


It might be time to reprint the original story that began "Whose Birthday." I'm sure many people missed out on that delightful introduction. Sr. Giovannina Fazio, SND, Redwood City, CA



Dear Alternatives Friends,

Congratulations on your new dome. At this moment, I am unable to contribute due to unexpected expense. However, I shall keep your correspondence and envelope so that I can contribute when able.

May you experience continued blessings on your crucial ministry. Shirley A. Loden, Hanford, CA


Please take me off your mailing list! At 85 I CANNOT support all GOOD causes! -- Mary Emma Hibbard, Des Moines, WA


Good Luck! -- Marilyn Lines, Clarkston, MI


I appreciate your focus! Enjoy the new digs! Julia Lakey, Vashon, WA


Materials (Christmas Campaign Kit) do not live up to my expectations, but keep on. Your voice is needed. -- Paul Fredriksen, Sibley, IA


Merry Christmas! I wish I had more $ to send! Laura Marie Chaney, Cross Village, MI


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ALTERNATIVES for Simple Living, 109 Gaul Dr. * P.O. Box 340 * Sergeant Bluff, Iowa 51054
800/821-6153 * 712/943-6153 * Fax: 712/943-1402   E-mail: Alternatives@SimpleLiving.org


Simple Living Works! * SimpleLivingWorks@Yahoo.com
BLOG: SimpleLivingWorks.WordPress.com | Blog INDEX
VIDEOS: YouTube.com/SimpleLivingWorks
MISSION: Equipping people of faith to challenge consumerism, live justly and celebrate responsibly // An all volunteer educational organization.