Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What Are You Buying This Holiday Season?

It has been brought to my attention that may people feel Christmas is a "rich man's holiday" and it is only good for the wealthy. Perhaps I was raised on too many episodes of "Little House on the Prairie", or maybe it is my lifelong love of "A Christmas Carol" but this concept is quite sad to me. Is that all that Christmas has been reduced to? A holiday for the people who can buy gifts? 

A few years ago I refused to buy holiday gifts. Every gift I gave that year was homemade. I made chalkboards for the kids, jewelry for some, painted mugs or ornaments for others. I spent $100 that holiday season, and it was entirely at a local craft store where that amount of money wasn't uncommon for me. Each gift was personal and it felt good to give them.

However, if the television is to be believed people only say they like homemade gifts to be polite. In their minds they are not pleased.

I found myself wondering today what we are buying these gifts for.

On Friday millions of people will stand in freezing cold parking lots and force their way through doors to get cheap gifts for their loved ones. How much will those gifts really mean to those loved ones?

Are we buying in order to see people light up when they open gifts? And does that piece of plastic junk from China really mean that much to them? Or are we buying gifts to dodge the embarrassment when that officemate gives us a gift and we don't have one to give them? 

Personally, I want my gifts to mean something. I want to give gifts from the heart, not from the wallet or the guilty conscience. 

How silly and sentimental of me.

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