Christmas Shopping and Human Consumption

All of this Christmas shopping makes me think about the economy and about all of us human beings in our insatiable desire to purchase stuff. I see the pressure that Christmas shopping puts on families and I have to ask myself….will there be a day when shopping is not such an addictive pastime.

Sure, we have all been raised with the desire to have more, and it is difficult to see a future where that is not a reality. In the future we would hope that the endless consumption and accumulation of “stuff” would be over, and we would be happy just enjoying the holidays without the commercialization of it. But knowing the human mind and human ego a little bit better in my older age, I kind of have to doubt it.

For instance, I am typing today as I sit in a vehicle (product) talking into a microphone (product) which is attached to a digital voice recorder (product) and I am dictating this as I sit in front of a particular store called the Urban Barn. My wife is doing some shopping for Christmas, and she is very excited just like the other shoppers inside who are admiring the Christmas displays and all of the holiday decor and ornaments. The sign in front of me says, “By One and Get Two Free”. What a deal!

What a deal it is! Buy one product and get two free. How exciting this is (sarcasm intended). As I speak, my wife just ran out of the front door of the Urban Barn, and said, “I am going over to Ashley’s Furniture, so I will be back in a moment”.

She seems very excited about the prospects of finding a good deal on some kind of item at the next store. I see people scurrying around the snow-covered parking lot looking for Christmas deals and I can’t help but notice they seem to be in a panic.

And when Christmas is over and all of the decorations, ornaments, registries, wreaths, and plastic blowup Santa Clauses have been swept away from the department store shelves and the front lawns in the suburban neighborhoods, we will be in the same place we were last year on January 2nd. We will all be that much further in debt, and our bank accounts will be depleted, as we stress ourselves out in the new year trying to pay off what we spent in December.

I know that this is important to the economy, and one of the engines that keeps the whole cycle going, but it seems to me there is a problem when it comes to shopping for the sake of shopping.

I often look at the other religions that don’t celebrate Christmas, and I envy them for not being caught up in this vicious, but yet enjoyable tradition. Seasons greetings! It says on the side of the building as I sit in front of Ashley’s furniture. Little elves are painted on the windows of their store, along with snowflakes, and balls of holly. Just another way for this furniture store to show you they are celebrating the Christmas season. Most of the stores are doing the same thing.

The Christmas cycle of abuse has been going on for hundreds of years now, and like I said, I highly doubt that it’s going to be over soon. It would be nice, to maybe just disappear for the Christmas season and boycott it altogether. I have never done that, but someday maybe I will talk my wife into it. Read the rest of this entry »

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