Monday, December 3, 2012
Every year, the challenge becomes greater. The media starts to tell us what we need to buy before summer's end. Our kids are brainwashed with what are supposed to be the hottest toys, while adults are hammered with everything from jewelry, furniture, and automobiles. And many folks are convinced that they must buy this stuff to make others happy.
Many people feel guilty if they do not spend enough to buy that special 'thing' for someone: the special 'thing' that will put them in debt for at least 12 months. But that, I believe, is a carefully crafted conditioned response, meant to empty your pockets, among other things. I can remember when large jewelry chains used to advertise diamond engagement rings; the prospective groom was instructed that he'd need to spend a percentage of his annual salary - that percentage was not in single digits. It was done in a way that made the man feel small and inadequate if he did not 'measure up' to the percentage. Our kids are brainwashed to believe that all those hot, new toys are their right to have, just for asking. Well belly up, mom and dad! All of this is shear bullshit, bullocks, and so much more.
Loving and caring for others should not be about the dollar amount of the gift; it should be about the sentiment and meaning behind it. And so often, that sentiment can be expressed in the simplest of ways. I suggest a reading of my short story, The Snows of Yule - A Different Kind of Holiday Tale, posted on this blog, 11/28/2012, to gain a more introspective view of gifting. Also, a read of my post, Thanksgiving, posted 11/20/2012, can only help. But, there is another idea, another course of action available to help with gifting.
Spend your money locally. There are artists, craftsmen, and merchants in your town that can offer you many one-of-a-kind gifting opportunities that you will not find in Wal-mart. When you keep your money local, you support and promote the local talent and merchants. That can be the greatest gift over the long haul.
Copyright @2012 Terry Unger
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