What if we just don’t?
What if we don’t buy into the frenzy of buying?
What if we ignore the frantic media drumbeat to charge into stores now that the cleverly named Black Friday has opened the official start of shopping season? A clever euphemism for out-of-control consumerism does not make an orgy of spending less of an orgy.
What if we reconsider whether we really need any more stuff? What if we reconsider whether we really want any more stuff?
What if we don’t charge more things to credit cards that are about to carry significantly higher interest rates? What if, come January, we don’t open our bills with racing hearts, constricting throats, and a sense of dread?
What if we spend our time establishing or maintaining our own traditions, actually communicating with the people we love? In other words, what if we don’t spend our time in overcrowded, overheated malls and big-box discount stores picking out more stuff nobody needs or wants?
What if we make the decision not to participate in the frenzy? What if we don’t allow ourselves to be lured by the inducements to spend, spend, spend? "Sale! Limited quantities! Today only! Today only from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m.!" Why on earth would someone wait outside a store in the wee hours of the morning to be part of a stampede to buy more stuff?
What if we try to remember the last time stuff made us happy? What if we consider the idea that most material items will never fulfill our wants and needs?
What if we take a quiet moment and think about what we actually do need and want—from and for ourselves and others?
I bet it’s not a flat-screen television.
I love Christmas. I love the tree, the music, the gatherings of friends, the whole pagan-Christian swirl of customs and beliefs.
I simply think it’s time—past time—to take a breath. Scale back the manic behavior, not to mention the manic spending. Consider giving one thoughtful, meaningful gift to each of the people you love rather than becoming part of the mob, complete with mob mentality. We rush to be at the stores before they open. We rush inside once the doors are opened—sometimes trampling people without regard for their lives. Anyone remember the Wal-Mart employee who was trampled to death by shoppers last year? Why are we behaving this way?
What if we just don't?