We've just finished Thanksgiving week here in the good ol' U.S. of A. If you don't live here, you might not know that this is the time of year when children dress up like pilgrims and Native Americans, people stuff themselves with exorbitant amounts of turkey (or tofurky) and pie, and it is the beginning of complete and utter spaztastic consumerism overdose.
Thanksgiving was (and probably still is) my favorite holiday because it wasn't surrounded by consumerism.
Now it could be called Black Friday Eve.
Now my sweet thankfulness holiday is the doorway to a debt-mountain of plastic and made-to-break stuff that nobody needs (or really wants) for the next four-ish weeks until people pass it out on Consumerism Eve, or Christmas (which is supposed to be Jesus' birthday and is now a celebration wherein people put hideous blow-up thingies of Santa and reindeer on their front lawns and eat ham).
It used to be that people went shopping when stores opened on Friday (you know, at a normal time). Someone got a great idea that they could maybe be all exciting and get some sales boost by opening up earlier. They could put the day on the books and it would just be a longer day, which would mean more time for more people to come and spend even more money. People thought it was a great and fun novelty to wake up early from their turkey-induced-comas and go spend all of their money at 6 a.m. The next year, other people in the marketing departments of every other company and store decided they wanted to do it too. Well, the first company was all "oh no they didn't!"-ing and head-wagging and finger-snapping and Butter Battle Booking it back to the drawing board.
So they came up with shopping at 4:00 a.m.
Everyone else thought that was a great idea the next year and followed suit.
Then we saw the era of the news people interviewing people who decided they would like to spend their Thanksgiving away from their family and instead sleeping in a tent in a parking lot of Best Buy so that they could be first in line to buy a laptop (that I am so sure they are still using, good thing they traded it in for time and memories with their loved ones, eh?). Or maybe a PS2 or something totally worth missing Thanksgiving for.
I joked that soon they would be opening stores at midnight and on Thanksgiving day.
Guess what? Stores opened at midnight and 9 p.m. this year on Thanksgiving.
What if you just said, "Forget THAT!" and instead of heading out to your local plastic junk dealer for their sale of the century, you decided to keep it simple? What if you made something for your loved ones with your own two hands? What if you used your time and talents to give to others in the form of something that will last and mean something to them? What if you went on Etsy instead and/or supported your local economy? What if you decided not to even do gift exchanging and gave your time to somewhere that needed your help? And you wouldn't even have to promise that you will always and forever do it until you die, you could just try it. Once. Maybe just for kicks.
What if you taught your kids that they could bless others? What if they gave of themselves and instead of being little Gimmie Machines they became productive members of society?
Nah. I'm sure it's way better to sleep in a parking lot or hey - not even sleep at all! Maybe you can be so tired you're that person who buys a Christmas sweater vest with Santa and a Christmas tree on it, because I am kind of sure that must be the only way someone would ever buy one of those things. Okay, or drunk or high. Or certifiably insane. Unless you made one of those things - I'd give you one point for making something yourself and then take away a point because you are clearly demented and want to torture your loved ones.
Something to ponder (ponderous man, really ponderous).
Peace, love and if you ever buy me a Christmas sweater I will hide it in your couch pillows and leave it at your house,