Nov 29, 2007

A note on commercialism

The past two weeks Mike and I have been mulling over possible gifts for family and friends. I think the major thing we have embraced in this process is being blessed with so many people in our lives that love us and are there for us.

This year we have decided to take the focus off of gifts and back onto the true reason for this season. Togetherness. First off we do not want gifts from our friends. It is more important to us to build memories than to receive material things. Everything we need we have or can provide for, so we are really only for want of more time with people. Likewise we do not want anything from my parents. We do not get to see them nearly often enough, so our only want is to spend Christmas Eve with them and to chat the day away.

I think that Christmas has gotten so commercialized that we loose sight of why we celebrate it to begin with. Why do we feel pressured to buy into the hype of a commercial Christmas? And every year it just keeps getting worse!

Expectations are being set by a marketing guy. The decorations in the mall here went up the week before Halloween! Santa's snowglobe was up before we carved pumpkins and dressed like alter egos! What.The.Heck?

Now I love this season as much as the next person... I even decorated this past weekend. This gifts we are getting for our families are gifts that every person can use and needs. Gifts that give back if you will. The only exception for this rule was for two special little people.

I "adopted" two shelter kids again this year, and the loads of games and gifts already under our tree are for them all ready to go to the center. It saddens me that the only gifts they will receive are from a stranger that they will never meet. So for them I decided to get a lot of fun and warm and comforting things. Things they will both use and that both need, but also fun things that will let them know that they are loved and thought of.

Mike and I have had multiple gift-giving talks, namely about the gifts to each other. We agree that the main focus is to be together and to share in this holiday with those who mean the most to us. I feel no pressure this year, only perspective and the swelling feeling of love.

I wonder if this is what growing up is really all about? ;)

I am to the point where I do not want anything for Christmas. Not that I will not be grateful for what I do receive, but I am not all about asking for things. I do not feel the need, and now seeing the loads of commercials on TV and in print are really starting to aggrivate me to no end.

I actually started to feel guilty that I was not dropping a thousand dollars at Christmas this year.


How on earth did that happen? Why did I, even if only for a fleeting moment, feel guilty for not being overly commercial? Mike shook some sense into me and got me back to reality quickly (thank goodness), but I still think that these commercials are way over the line.

I can only imagine those two children in the sheltar watching TV and seeing all the things that they want - a family, the warmth of a home... it really does break my heart.

All these material things being portrayed as what one needs in order to be happy at Christmas. In reality, isn't what we need to simply be loved and around those we love as well?



Unknown said...

Awesome post, Jenn. I have had one Christmas spent alone. I would have traded any gift I received some togetherness. It is definitely something that one should not take for granted.

momo said...

its tough - especially when you have children. you want to surprise them and yet, there is a fine line between surprise and spoil. thanks for the reminder.

Doug said...

Ok, I sent the pink Corvette and 22 inch rims back to the dealership :).

I'm just cheap, everyone gets a $20 gift card :P, mom, dad, sister, and that is it :).

Who is Mike?

Doug said...

How did Schoolcraft go? I ended up sleeping in until 8:30.

Jenniferlyn said...

Weak! J/k. I hope that you are feeling better!

It was busy and exciting! Lane 1 did 1.58 miles. I did 1.48 (skipped 200 yards total due to lack of endurance) ;)

Doug said...

I am feeling better now. I won't race tomorrow, but I will live.