Here we are, in the midst of the holiday shopping season. It’s a frenzied time, bookended by Thanksgiving on one end and Christmas Day on the other. And it’s becoming increasingly hard to reconcile that two holidays based on gratitude, faith, and family can co-exist with such consumerism.
But the urgency to spend is real.
Shop now for the best price of the season. Sale for one day only. While supplies last.
Advertisers want us to believe that we’ll never see prices like these again. We must act now. We must open our wallets to bring even more things into our lives. And we give names to these spectacular sale days – Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Super Saturday – as if naming the thing gives it more meaning.
Well, I’m not buying it.
While the average shopper is expected to drop $483 this weekend, nearly 52% of those shoppers will regret buying something just because it’s on sale. Let that sink in for a minute. If you’re spending money to save money, then you’re still spending money. Remember, it’s 100% off if you don’t buy it in the first place.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not against the holidays; I do give gifts to family and friends. But I prefer to give (and receive) consumables and experiences over things. I don’t need another widget taking up space in my home and time in my life.
What if we, as consumers, got off the merry-go-round and made our way to a simpler, more heartfelt holiday season? What would that look like for you? It might be spending a Saturday making cookies with your kids. Or maybe gathering friends to go caroling in your community. You might go to a performance of the Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol at the local theater, or sleep in and watch holiday movies in your pajamas all day (hot cocoa optional).
As we begin this holiday season, I challenge you to find ways beyond giving presents to show your love. Instead, give your presence – small, daily acts of kindness, saying “I love you”, going for a walk with your loved one, making the time to just be there.
“‘Maybe Christmas,’ he thought,’ doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!'” – From How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss.