The Spirit of Consumerism

Best Christmas gift, Consumerism, Spirit of giving

photo credit: Thom Watson via photopin cc

Another Christmas has come and gone. The gifts have been opened and flaunted on Facebook and Instagram. The food has been inhaled. And Santa is snoozing away in the North Pole after a busy Christmas holiday. But this year something was different for me.

I just couldn’t join in the spirit of consumerism that filled the stores. (And it’s not just because my ass is broke.) Instead, as I wandered from store to store attempting to complete my shopping list, I was filled with a deep sense of sorrow. When did Christmas become about iPads and flat-screen TVs? When did we start shelling out massive amounts of cash to make the season special?

To me, Christmas isn’t about the loot I’m scoring on Christmas morning. Instead, it’s about the time I spend with family and friends, whether it’s wandering around gazing at lights or talking the night away. It’s these moments that I will remember for years to come, not the flashy gifts under the tree.

Quite frankly, I think more people would do better with less material gifts during the holidays. Why not substitute them with other more meaningful gifts like your time or a donation to their favorite charity? If you’re giving to a child, taking them to the museum, the zoo, or a movie is a much better option than that super sweet toy that they may not remember in 10 years. I guarantee they’ll remember the quality time you spend with them. If you’re giving to your partner, taking them out for a romantic date or writing them a love letter will definitely pull on their heartstrings making their holiday extra special. Those golden Christmas gifts don’t have to cost an arm and a leg (or countless hours and battles on Black Friday). They can simply be paid in kindness, love, and time.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – ‘Lynsey, it’s the spirit of giving!’ I totally understand the spirit and joy of giving, but there are so many other gifts that are far more meaningful than that smartphone that will basically replace your best friend. And if you truly feel like spending money this Christmas in the spirit of giving, then why not spend it on people who truly need it. Donate to charity. Buy a homeless man some dinner. Foster a dog for the holidays. Or sponsor a child for Christmas. They need it more than all of us who are nice and cozy in our homes surrounded by flat-screen TVs and iPads.

I suppose what I’m asking is – do we really need all those flashy presents beneath the Christmas tree?

I know I have more things in my home than I could ever need. So next Christmas, I would prefer all of you wonderful peeps who feel the need to shower me with gifts to donate to a charity of your choosing. That would make my Christmas very special.

What do you think? Do we get too caught up in the consumerism of Christmas?

  • I do think we can get too caught up but I also love trying to find just the right gift for each person on my list. The look my sister had when she opened my gift was exactly what I had hoped for!

    • Aww, I’m glad that she loved the gift so much! It’s so nice to be able to make someone happy. I hope you had a great holiday!

  • Do you know what? This year I started to think ‘Why waste money on buying things for people who don’t really want or need anything?’ It’s a lot of pointless hassle. The main thing is people spend time together at Christmas.

    • I totally agree! I think spending time together is a much better gift, especially when things can get so busy during the year. It’s nice to just take some time to enjoy each other’s company.

  • Brittany

    So glad you bought this up. I’ve been saying this for years. To me Christmas is mainly for the kids. What’s under the tree is not important for adults. Or in my opinion it shouldn’t be.

    • I think getting the kids something nice for Christmas is great, but I also think people can get a little carried away. It’s not necessary to spend hundreds of dollars or buy endless amounts of gifts for the kiddos. But yes, totally make it special for them. Do you think people can go a little overboard for the kids, as well? 🙂 I hope you enjoyed your holiday.

      • Brittany

        Of course people go overboard. I’ve seen it done too many times. I was watching a vlog where they got their baby so many gifts. Babies don’t even know whats going on! HA!!

        • Hah! Wow. Yea, it was my nieces first Christmas. She’s 5 months old and my sister had to tell my mom not to go overboard. She basically said the same thing you did, “babies don’t know what’s going on.” 🙂 Personally, I opted for giving towards her college fund.