It's not the pretty lights, family obligations, holiday parties, or even the music that bothers me. It's how gift giving has been hijacked. It's become obligatory, demanded, and expected on a large scale.
It baffles me that people will complain about their mortgages and debts as they spend hundreds of dollars each Christmas on stuff that doesn't have any real meaning in their lives. Even those who shout out guilt trips about "the real meaning of the season" still have lengthy shopping lists and rush around the malls with credit cards in hand like everyone else.
So to protest the consumerism that is so obnoxious during December, I decided to challenge myself to post a daily Facebook status about something that I didn't need. I took a note from the folks who do this in Thanksgiving with things that they're thankful for.
Here's what I came up with (with a slight cheat because we were on vacation for a week):
Dec 1 - I don't need a house. Our condo is comfy and fits our lifestyle and budget. In fact, it's due for some deep cleaning and trips to Goodwill! One day, it would be nice to own a small home, but right now, I'm happy that we have a nice place to live that we can afford each month.
|My dream home - small and cozy. Certainly not a McMansion.|
Dec 3 - I don't need designer or trendy clothing. While I'm currently in the works of refining my professional wardrobe, I don't give a hoot about labels. If it fits, has a classic look that won't go out of style quickly, and I can feel that the fabric is durable, then it's a good potential for my closet.
Dec 4 - I don't need television/cable. Dumped it four years ago and haven't regretted it. It's certainly not a need and I don't want a stream of tempting yet unfulfilling entertainment. Admittedly, we use Netflix and Hulu to access Mad Men, The Cosby Show, and Scrubs, but it's very selective and not even on a weekly basis.
|Beside, books are a better way to spend an evening.|
Dec 6 - I don't need a data plan on my phone. As an editor and teacher, I'm already tethered to a computer. Having 24/7 online access will not make me a better worker (though I know for some careers it certainly is a leg up, just not for me). I don't want to shell out the extra money for data either.
Dec 7 - I don't need expensive jewelry. I like sparklies and they are useful for sprucing up your professional look, but I don't need precious metals or stones to do so - stuff that costs hundreds of dollars and may be extracted from the earth in inappropriate ways.
|Between her and Elizabeth Taylor ...|
I don't need an e-reader. Think they're great, believe they're actually beneficial to people reading, and like the access they can provide. But I don't need one. I need the library.
Dec 10 - I don't need a motorcycle. Sure as heck *want* one though. But presently, I have a way to get back and forth from work and run errands. No need to add another set of wheels to insure.
Dec 11 - I don't need vacation toys like an RV or a boat. They are totally fun and I love boating on the Mississippi with friends who own a modest vessel, but I don't need these in my life. Though I do like the idea of being a retired hippie and cruising around the country in an RV packed with corgis ...