Tuesday, November 29, 2011
What the heck?????
I know Black Friday is all a memory now but for some reason I just can't get it out of my mind. I, personally, don't shop on Black Friday mainly because I hate crowds but I do have family and friends that love the adventure. After watching the news reports and talking to some of those friends, I am really wondering WHY they do this each year. I saw so many instances of people behaving not only badly, but criminally. Shoppers were assaulted both inside and outside the stores. There were so many robberies and thefts, so much ill will and discontent that I cannot reconcile that with what I think the Christmas season should be about. Christmas is purely a celebration of the birth of our saviour (and if you don't believe that then you really can't call what you celebrate "Christmas"). I really don't know what mowing down your fellow man to get to the last Xbox or pepper spraying your neighbor to get a cheap flat screen tv has to do with celebrating the birth of the Messiah! It really makes me sick to see all of this commercialism and consumerism. People are complaining about how they can't afford to pay their bills yet they go out and blow thousands of dollars on gifts. Do they really think that the recipients NEED those gifts? Do they think that somehow they will be better people if they go deeper into debt buying gifts for EVERYONE they know? I actually know a person who thinks that if she doesn't spend thousands of dollars on her 2 kids ALONE then they will suffer...Suffer from what???? No, they will suffer when the bank forecloses on their house. They will suffer when there is no longer any food in the house to eat. They will suffer when they don't have a winter coat and it is snowing outside. They WILL NOT suffer because they didn't get every single new toy that is out there. They WILL NOT suffer if they receive LESS THINGS for Christmas. People need to get their priorities straight! Now I am in no way criticizing ANYONE for buying their loved ones gifts for the holidays. I just want people to re-examine WHY they feel the NEED to overspend and overextend. Now, I have a little confession to make....I used to be a lot like those people. I thought that I had to buy more and more each year to "out do" the previous year. Then we lost almost everything. We had to close our business, we were months behind on all of our bills, there wasn't much in the pantry to eat, we had $36 in our checking account and it would be 2 weeks before my husband would receive his first paycheck from his new job. I have never been so scared in all my life. How in the world were we going to feed 5 children and 2 adults for 2 weeks on $36???? To make matters worse, hubby needed most of that money for gas to get to work for those 2 weeks. It was a VERY dark time and I questioned a lot of the decisions we made up to that point. That was 8 years ago and while we are NOT rolling in the dough, we are making ends meet (even if we have to pull those ends a little hard sometimes). Know what else? Not one of us can remember any of the Christmas gifts we had those "good" years! Nothing! Our Christmas's have been pretty lean since then (a little out of necessity but mostly because of choice) but we remember all the details of those celebrations. My 2 youngest kids have loved our "simple" Christmas celebrations. They get the one or two things that they truly want with nothing that will simply be put in a closet to be forgotten about. We all get to spend TIME together because we are not out running around trying to get a deal on something. If truth be told, your kids really don't want ALL those gifts. The greatest gift you can give them is time with you. It doesn't cost anything and you don't have to take your life into your own hands at the mall to get it. It's a WIN-WIN for everyone!