Tag Archives: christmas shopping

‘Tis the season to spend

There is no escaping it!

Black Friday came and went with the usual anticipation, fanfare, injuries and arrests. Christmas is now only weeks away and I know you are checking your lists, buying gifts or complaining. As the pilgrimage begins to the mecca for spenders I want to take us all back to when the trek really began. 

‘Tis the season to spend

sale icons

Just before Halloween I popped into my local home decor store and came across an all too common sight of both Halloween and Christmas sharing the floor. There I was between two icons of the seasons a Vampire and Santa Clause.  I couldn’t help but think that both of these guys can suck the life out of me.

I realize it’s not Santa’s fault that his appearance can scare some of us. How was he to know that one day Cindy Lou Who wouldn’t be satisfy with just holding hands around the town Christmas tree. Instead, she would need an iPad, iPhone, Coach handbag, Jimmy Choo shoes and Guess jeans  to feel the joy of the season.

The truth is that we can go back as far as August to know that shoppers are about to hit a four month spending spree.  Keeping up with Joan’s is for many people a year round pursuit but there is no doubt that Back to School, Black Friday, Christmas and Boxing Day help to further deplete the bank account.

Going back to the vampire in the store, Halloween has also been bitten by the consumer bug.  What is particularly disturbing is watching little children dressed in costumes parade from store to store inside the local mall. Instead of just hitting the streets, parents gleefully bring their little tots up to the counter to have their bags filled with treats.

As we teach our children to be good little consumers don’t be surprised to see in the future a pint-sized gangster demanding gift cards instead of candy or a confused Kangaroo mistakenly reaching into her pouch for a credit card.  So it is, the making of the next big spender.

Prepare for the onslaught of television commercials designed to tell us what we are lacking. Make room in your recycle bin for the excess flyers that stink of ink. Get your pen and paper ready for the subtle and not so subtle hints provided by family. ‘Tis the season to spend my friends!

More than enough stuff

More than enough stuff.

As I looked around my office I noted how many books I acquired over the years that never had a page turned by my finger. I opened my jewelry box to find many costume pieces that have not graced my ears, neck, or wrists in years. The other day, after feeling quite deflated, I engaged in more retail therapy. I came away with an outfit which in the end I knew would take its place in already full closet.

In reaching for Cd’s yesterday, I realized the Cd’s are plentiful but only a few are enjoyed consistently as my lifestyle changed and I know longer spend evenings with the tunes on and the TV off. A few DVDs align my shelf that have never been seen, apparently they were must haves but there they sit. The freezer is overflowing after a trip to Costco. Eventually most of the food will be eaten but some of it will end up in the garbage, a final resting place for the freezer burned.

My Christmas decorations were in several boxes but many items never get used. Tastes have changed, homes are different, creating a feeling in festive times can be daunting. I get bogged down in the details and eventually I put most of it back, thinking next year I will find a way to use it. I rarely do. Our garage holds stuff, stuff that moves around. We try to organize but invariably someone goes in and decides the stuff is in the way as they reach for something else. Once used, an item is rarely returned to its designated place, “we’ll just stuff it there for now, deal with it later.” It gathers dust until the next expedition happens to unearth items.

This Christmas, like all Christmas’s, I find little joy in the commercialization and process of acquiring more stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I’m appreciative of gift giving but I believe in being realistic, genuine and above all else assess need. More stuff for the sake of buying is meaningless to the giver and receiver.

I will share with you in all honesty, in the latter stages of childhood I remember the thrill of receiving “the stuff” on my list but after the novelty wore off I remember thinking about what I really wanted. What I wanted from people in my life was not something they could buy, it was not something that filled my room or a box, what I needed was to feel safe, respected and heard. No matter how much was put in my pillow case at the foot of my bed (an English tradition) or under the tree, my wishes remained floating about waiting to be granted.

To my amazement all these years later I still reflect on life, Christmas and the receipt of stuff this way. I believe we tell people all year what our heart wants, I believe we do our best as an adult to create love and respect for our own being. The reality is we have more than enough stuff; monetarily it shows but spiritually it is hard to quantify as it lacks true meaning. This is never more put to the test than in the face of disaster, illness or death, it is not what we bought that is first in foremost in our minds.

So, in the quietest of moments, as you lay awake in bed, can you say “Today I received what I wished for, my life is enriched and it didn’t cost a dime.”

(I am adding this song, sent by Pat…see comment below)

All I Really Want for Christmas