Retailers Should Really Be Ashamed Of Themselves
October hadn’t even ended and the few stores I walked into were full of Christmas trees, decorations, candy, and “special, early shopper prices”. I hate this time of year.
I don’t do Christmas. You will not find green & red anywhere in my home and you most certainly will not see a tree, lights, tinsel, et al. I won’t even “celebrate” it at someone else’s home. I celebrate Chanukah (Kuddos to Target for the most awesome Chanukah decor. I could easily have bought all of it, it was truly beautiful stuff. The nicest I have seen in years.) & Yule. Chanukah is centered around family, treats, sweets, and the miracle of oil lasting for eight nights, instead of one. If you don’t know the story of the Maccabees, Google it. I can probably look forward to a box of much wanted books, but I do not expect anything else on the gift front.
Yule is the Winter Solstice. It’s also the day I buried my father, so it’s hard on me. The two holidays coincide this year, but because I’m having an especially rough year I am not doing gifts for anyone, including myself. This has been my commandment of the past two years: Don’t spend money on anything extra that is not truly necessary. I’ve done well.
Every retail outlet in America will have you believing you need new EVERYTHING, and that you need it all RIGHT THIS SECOND. Between TV’s, computers, cell phones, tablets, and a plethora of other gadgets, billions of dollars will inevitably be spent no matter what. I know way too many people who spend thousands of dollars they don’t have on gifts for everyone and their Great-Uncle, and they don’t even like 9/4’s of the people they’re giving gifts to, they simply feel obligated. When their credit card statements arrive in January, they are filled with shame, remorse, and the simple fact that they are now seriously in debt, and for what?!
I’m more of a gift card kind of gal. I like choosing my own gifts, unless you’re going to Sephora, in which case, you can’t go wrong on anything (I’m joking, sort of.), but when it comes to giving, I like to do something for a person that they probably wouldn’t do for themselves. I don’t ever put a price tag on my best friends, God-daughter, or my Aunt. With my brother, I do have to limit him into a reasonable category because he always asks me for insane things. I don’t remember what I got him last year, but I do know he got exactly what he wanted/asked for, and that I spent next to nothing because I found both items on eBay for a steal. It DOES pay to shop around for the best price.
I really enjoy the quality and uniqueness of gifts on Etsy. I have bought everything from hand-crafted jewelry, sugar scrubs, and laptop cases, all the way to homemade fudge & plants for my Aunt’s garden, and pretty much everything has been great. Several pieces of jewelry were for me, and I wear them religiously. I bought an amazing leather wallet one year, and I love it to pieces. It’s got a great rock ‘n’ roll edge to it that makes it so unique looking. I’m not the least bit embarrassed to pull it out of my purse. I highly recommend doing a very thorough search of that site if you want items that are unique and affordable. Most people are taking orders now in advance of the holidays to guarantee timely delivery, and I understand that because they’re one person businesses. That’s different.
Retailers are disgustingly greedy, and yes, people need their retail jobs, I respect that, but none of us need to go running to any of those stores on Thanksgiving Day and be taken away from our families/friends. The employees themselves should also be home with their families, not running to work the very same night to “prep the store” for a pre-Black Friday opening. It gets worse every year, and it makes me sick.
This year I’ve decided to buy of all my normal stuff in advance at Walmart. Basically, that means all of my paper products, garbage bags, and 8 bags of cat litter. This will help me avoid anything there, short of the pharmacy, during all the crazy madness.
If you’re giving gifts this year, give from your heart. I’d rather receive something a person has made (craft stores are AWESOME!) than an after-thought they grabbed while trying to trample over 20 other people. The only thing I asked for this year is a scarf. I do have a nice one that (sort of) matches my coat, but I’d like something in grey. I’m allergic to wool, so this should be a fun little search in an attempt to not get sick this Winter. Perhaps I will even find a matching hat. However, the only thing I truly WANT is my health (and prosperity).
Nothing on this planet is more important than one’s health. Without it, you cannot do any of the things you want to do, should do, or need to do. Without it, you forever feel like you’re living on borrowed time. There’s nothing inside any retail store that can restore it, so consider this closely.
I know a lot of people forgo their regular “diets” during the holidays because they want to enjoy everything offered to them. There’s a reason the word “die” is in “diet”. I’m a firm believer in balance. I’m also not subjected to countless gatherings and parties, so “holiday weight” is not an issue for me. January is not my “It’s time to get back to the gym.” resolution, which most people only manage to keep up with for a few weeks, or a month, tops. I do consider which vitamins I should be taking, if there’s anything new that might physically increase my health and resistance to illness, and I try to make small changes that can make meals healthier and tastier, but all in all, I don’t obsess much. The past two years have shown me that the simplest things can be the most delicious things, and that it’s perfectly okay to have the 2nd cupcake.
So, while retailers throw everything and the kitchen sink at you in order to get you into their stores right away, consider yourself, your families, your budgets, and make a stand in advance. If you started early, good for you. If you’re strictly doing Cyber Monday, you’re probably better off. If you’re hitting the stores to chase down bargains, do so carefully and safely, and make sure you keep all your receipts, just in case.
Personally, I’m going to be un-subscribing from every single retailer that sends me an early shopping e-mail starting today. I’m utterly sick of the bullshit, but hey, that’s me. We’re all entitled to how we feel in regards to all of this meshugas. (If you don’t know what that means, Google it. Yes, that’s one of the languages I speak.)
copyright © 2014 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED