“Consumerism is at once the engine of America and simultaneously one of the most revealing indicators of our collective shallowness.”
Christmas decorations appeared in early October this year at our local supermarket; stuffed Santas, string lights, shiny balls to hang from faux trees available in a variety of colors. December holidays have become one of the biggest spending times of the year. In 2016, over 154 million Americans shopped over Thanksgiving weekend. That is a lot!
This has been a year of difficulty for many; damage from the earthquakes in Mexico, the fires in the US and Canada, hurricanes and flooding in the Caribbean. In the face of this, it seems ridiculous to spend money on things we don’t need when funds can do so much good elsewhere.
Not spending as much doesn’t have to put a damper on your holiday spirit. There are many ways to give gifts without making a trip to the mall. Here are just a few ideas:
- Your time. Offering to babysit, run errands, do yard work or cook dinner, are great ways to show someone you care and foster more connection.
- Make something. The list of things you can make is endless, depending on your talents: a family cook book, a playlist, baked goods, sewing projects. Fill your days with creating, not Netflix 🙂
- Divide and repot your houseplants. Add an already owned pretty vintage tin or pot and you can bring greenery into someone’s home.
- Give something you already own! I love getting used books or kitchen articles people no longer use. Go through your jewelry and give away those silver earrings you never wear!
- Donate to a cause in someone’s name. If someone on your list is an animal lover, make a donation to a local shelter.
- Give an experience. Tickets to a show or a museum are more meaningful than stuff and help support the arts in your community.
- If you are going to buy, shop local! Don’t go to a superstore to save money. Be willing to pay more knowing you are supporting mom-and-pop businesses – in the long run you are investing in your community.