Today I put up my favorite Christmas decoration — my grampa’s chapel that he made for my grandma more than 100 years ago. He modeled it after the first church they attended together, also shown above. It’s one of the most cherished things I own — and not just because it’s adorable. It’s because of everything it represents… love, family, history, soul. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, no matter how beautiful or expensive.

Then I read a post today on Instagram that summed up why I love this little chapel and provided wonderful guidance on how to make future purchases that I thought was worth sharing:

“I believe inanimate things can still have “soul.” And, this year especially I’ve been only wanting to add things into my orbit that do. Here are some of the questions I ask myself before making a purchase:

How much thought was put behind the creation of this product? Was this product produced by a small company or a large manufacturer? Do I agree with the value system of the creators?

What materials make up its parts? Was this product sustainably made? Is it of the highest quality in its class?

How much love was put into this product? Was this product ethically produced by humans making a fair wage? Will I still be using/wearing this item in a year from now? In five years?”

Not that it matters, but I can say without hesitation that this particular Christmas chapel display was created with a great deal of thought, is the highest quality in its class, has more love in it than I can possibly describe and I will still be using this in five, ten, fifteen or however many years I have left. Because this inanimate item has a soul: mine.

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