Are You Inundated Like Me?
I’m on the fence over which generates more posts and email: Politics or Christmas. With Politics, the campaign ads and candidate discussions start earlier and earlier every election year. The new President barely takes office before the campaigning begins for the next term, or so it seems to me.
Christmas is no better. Merchants and others with wares to sell used to have the decency to wait until after Thanksgiving to start inundating us with offers and ads. Then they waited only until after Halloween. This year, I was getting Black Friday ads way back in July! Where will it all end?
Missing the Point by a Country Mile
The whole point of Christmas has degenerated into “Buy, Buy, Buy”. Everyone is selling the next big thing or something you really must have. I’m beginning to find it both offensive and intrusive. But more, many merchants are making a joke of themselves. Much as I like Kohl’s as a rule, how many “Biggest sale of the season”s can they really have? Or have they added seasons to our calendar I’m unaware of?
I believe it was Walmart (or as I like to say, “The store which shall not be named”) who started the trend of opening earlier and earlier for Black Friday until people were lining up outside the store on Thanksgiving day. Seriously? So now the trend is to be one of the stores which doesn’t open on Thanksgiving Day. What will the next band wagon be?
Getting Back to Basics
I’ve declared this year “The Year of a Minimalist Christmas/Chanukah”. We have certain traditions I will continue to uphold (An inscribed book, pajamas, socks and undies) and a couple of useful things I’ve gotten for the kids, but there will be no more craziness and going into debt for the holidays. I may even follow my daughter’s lead and do something creative. She’s making her own beauty products like lip balms and face masks. I’ve long been interested in studying to be an herbalist. Maybe it’s time I put my money where my mouth is.
Even more important is taking the time to love and consider others. Practicing random acts of kindness or even just biting my tongue when I might want to tell someone off. I don’t really know right now. I just know that however I decide to mark the holiday season this year, it won’t have anything to do with the dozens of emails I receive every day trying to sell me goods or services I neither need nor want (breast implants or penis enlargement anyone?).
Consider this: many charities now have a wish list on Amazon. How about taking the money we might have spent on something unnecessary and put it towards an item on your favorite charity’s wish list? Or buy a couple of things to donate to Toys for Tots. I won’t presume to tell you that one charity is more important than another. They are all worthy and many depend on gifts to continue doing what they do.
This is Me, Protesting Marketing Overload
I know it isn’t going to make much difference for someone like me to opt out of the marketing maelstrom this year, but what if hundreds or even thousands said “Nope, I’m going to do the basics for my family and the rest will be charitable, either by act or deed. Maybe, just maybe those people will re-think their advertising campaign for next year. One can only hope.
My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that I have choices.
2. I am grateful for the ability to mass delete marketing emails.
3. I am grateful for the helpers who give us better ways to spread holiday cheer. We don’t have to conspicuously consume.
4. I am grateful for the people in my life who put value on things like acts and time spent rather than on the price tag on a gift they might never even use.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, joy, kindness, compassion, self-restraint, humor, happiness, philanthropy, prosperity, health, peace and harmony.
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