We have finally made it full swing into the Christmas season - at least the Christmas shopping season. This year is definitely seeing some changes in Christmas shopping habits. Walmart reported that sales were up 3.4% in November, while other, higher end retailers reported slides in figures by as much as 10%. People are looking for basement bargains, and I really can't blame them. My husband and I are having a very lean Christmas this year ourselves, so we know the routine.
There's two sides to this issue that just don't make any sense. The first is this continued need for fancy goods - whether or not people can afford them. The second is the number of people that dismiss simplicity as somehow inappropriate for Christmas.
Black Friday this year saw unimaginable behavior on the part of shoppers. A temporary holiday employee at a Long Island Walmart is killed and three customers injured in a discount stampede. Even though most people are perfectly aware that everyone is a little more on the "lean" side, shoppers are still out demanding big electronics, silly bath baskets, and monster toys. Have these numerous people ever considered that it really is ok to live within your budget - however simple that might be - with regard to Christmas gifts? How about getting together with family for Christmas - and that's it? How about making gifts yourself this year?
It is commercialism, and the continual bombardment of adversing that is skillfully designed to play upon human weakness and nature, that convinces us that we need more and more. That what we have is not good enough. The handmade life isn't just about buying handmade, it's also about simplicity. Enjoying the things around us, the things we already have, our loved ones, the little things in life that are easy to overlook. It's about taking stock, and realizing just how blessed we already are, and choosing to believe, no matter how continually barraged, that what we already have really is enough.
Just my simple thoughts.
On a side note: As the shopping season continues, check back here or at my other blog: http://todaysfrugalhomemaker.blogspot.com for fantastic homemade gift ideas that won't break your budget at all, and will be great fun!!