Spendaholics

Sometimes I want to grab someone and exclaim, “Stop!

“You don’t have to participate in this. You don’t have to lose sleep over it. You don’t have to stand in line for hours of your life, missing out on better or more constructive things you could be doing. You don’t have to scour ads for deals. You don’t have to fight other shoppers for the last item in stock or be disappointed at the sight of an empty shelf.

“You don’t have to allow yourself to be gobbled up by the blatant consumerism of Black Friday.

“And you certainly don’t have to pass these traditions onto your children.”

Sometimes I want to grab someone and exclaim, “Stop!

“You don’t have to allow yourself to be swallowed by the blatant consumerism of Christmas.

“You don’t have to lose sleep over what to buy who. You don’t have to make a list, check it twice, and buy gifts for people simply because it’s expected of you by them. You can buy a gift for someone, a gift that truly means something on any day of the year. You don’t owe anyone a gift on this one day.

“A gift given from obligation is not a gift from the heart and is a shallow gift indeed.

“Stop!

“Stop showing how well-trained you are in the corporate traditions disguised as holidays. If they’re running you ragged, if they’re tiring you out, if they’re wearing you down, if you’re not resting, then they’re not holidays.

“Stop!

“Stop telling me how stressed you are about all of the gifts you have yet to buy and must buy for all of the people you know. If you realized how unnecessary this tradition is, how it’s been bastardized from the sign of caring it likely was when it first began, you wouldn’t participate in it and wouldn’t be so stressed over it.

“Stop!

“Stop playing into the hands of profit hoarding corporations every single year. They do this to you again and again without end and yet you fall into the same trap every single time. Stop!

“Stop!

“Just stop.

“And don’t tell me again that this year is different, that you’ve learned your lesson, which is why you’re cutting back on the number of things you’re buying and giving. Would you allow an alcoholic to keep drinking as long as he says he’s cutting back?

“So take a step back.

“Close your eyes.

“Take a deep, cleansing breath.

“Separate yourself from the crowd. Don’t go to a store with money or credit cards. Don’t go to join the river of people flowing from one aisle of discounted merchandise they don’t really need to the next aisle of discounted merchandise they don’t really need.

“Just stop.

“Stand there, still as a tree that observes its surroundings but doesn’t get caught up in them.

“Watch all of the people trained since birth to enter this store, hungry for strategically planned lower prices for crap the store wanted to get rid of anyway so they could make room for the new crap they’re going to sell over the next year. Follow these people as they push shopping carts full of that crap they don’t need. See them fill those carts even more as they empty the shelves of what will soon be wrapped, given, maybe appreciated somewhat, and then soon tossed aside in favor of something else.

“Gaze at all of the people who allow themselves to be swept up in this corporate controlled tradition every single year.

“Aren’t you tired of it all? Haven’t you finally had enough of this predictable cycle? Aren’t you finally ready to drop it all, to drop the stress, to feel that crushing weight lifted from you?

“Stop.

“All you have to do is stop, and it will be gone, and you’ll feel so much better, so free, as you obtain a more heartfelt perspective on what it truly means to give and what it truly means to appreciate.

“It’s not about the time of year.

“It’s not about a planned exchange of things.

“It’s certainly not about things.

“It’s simply about caring.

“Acts of caring, and displays of affection, don’t require things.

“Caring only requires a friendly handshake, a friendly hug, a friendly ear, a friendly smile, a friendly word. These are gifts.

“So stop.

“Stop training children to expect things rather than gifts. Show them what it really means to care. Show them that the spirit of the holidays isn’t parading up and down aisles seeking satisfaction in wanting and obtaining things.

“Show them that the holiday spirit, the Christmas spirit, the spirit of compassion, of hope, of peace with their fellow man and woman, show them that this spirit isn’t dead. Show them that corporations who lack basic kindness haven’t robbed us of our basic kindness.

“Stop.

“Stop, and be a little more free to stand in a store at midnight on Black Friday, shedding a tear for the river of shoppers drowning in the excess that’s choking us all.”

Sometimes I want to grab someone and say that.

But I really don’t think anyone will hear me over the sounds of the cash registers.

And yeah, I know I’m saying this just one day after buying a PNY 128GB USB 3.0 flash drive from Staples, but it was heavily discounted from $75 down to $25. And I really needed it. And it was a pre-Black Friday sale, so it doesn’t count.

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8 thoughts on “Spendaholics

  1. Well said Gabrielle. Our society has drifted so far away from what true meaning of the holidays are. I’ll admit I get sucked up in to it too at times.

    $25 for a 3.0 flash drive? Awesome…Lol! 😉

  2. Wow..very greatly written. This is a post I can read and read and everytime I smile. Because its so true. And I’m totally with you. This buying and giving unnecessary gifts is a waste.
    Thank for a wonderful sum up. Wish I could put that into words this perfect.

    1. Yes. And what’s even worse is that Black Friday doesn’t start on Friday anymore. Stores now open on Thursday night, not even giving people a full Thanksgiving Day to enjoy before drawing them in to spend their money.

      Can you see me shaking my head?

      1. I can, and I’m right there with you, Gabriel! It’s bad over here but it’s even worse in America where people actually get trampled to death over the most stupid bargains! If you didn’t need it yesterday you don’t need it now just because it’s been reduced. Let go of that super-sized microwave, you know you have no room for it -.-

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