It’s hard to think this way – possibly even blasphemous, potentially – this time of year. The time of year where we spend a disgusting amount of money, an incredible amount of time and a lot of brain power trying to get THE PERFECT THING for the people we love.
And some things for the people we like. And a few other things for the people we may not even be that fond of, but have to so a shitstorm of controversy doesn’t erupt while everyone is throwing back some eggnog.
But I thought of it today. And now while thinking of why I thought of it, I feel a bit Cindy Lou Who with the whole thing. A little overly wholesome. I’m not overly. I’m just the right bit, the kind of wholesome that eats as clean as possible, swears and thinks about how the world works.
What if Christmas never had gifts? What if the Target catalog never got its claws in us? What if the day never became commercialized – and the focus of the season stayed on people and time instead of doorbusters and fourth-quarter retail numbers?
What if we never became part of that machine?
I’m not even going into the religious bit, because most people know where I stand with all that. But I guess, I’m trying to wonder out loud how we as people would function without this designated shopping season, a time of year many can’t afford but participate in anyway.
I feel like we would be less stressed. Way. We’d have one less deadline to meet. I know we are since we decided to ditch toys in favor of experiences and adventures. It takes some creativity and planning, but it doesn’t require batteries or standing in lines or cruising eBay for a thing with a seasonally-inflated price tag.
I also feel like we, as like humans, would be more spontaneous with our giving throughout the year. When we see something or feel something for someone, we might act on it more in that moment rather than save it for the designated giving holiday.
I know I would. I’ve had a few things saved in my hiding spots for months, knowing they’d be fun, meaningful things to open. Because, I don’t buy just to buy. I used to, for sure, until I woke up.
We’d for sure have less debt – be more in control of our finances. We wouldn’t borrow against the months ahead to buy crap that will likely end up being outdated or underused within months or weeks.
I know it’s all a crazy thing to consider. I just wondered what it would do to us if the gifts of today were never part of the equation. If, instead, we stuck with pears and oranges, like they did on Little House on the Prairie. Maybe a nice new dress or a cozy blanket.
It’ll never happen, I know. It’s just, if we never went to this extreme in the first place, we would never know what we were missing. Not every culture celebrates – not every religion. We kind of own this habit.
Think about it for a second. It is more common to hear people grumble about how quickly the calendar is careening towards Christmas than celebrate it. Pretty much only kids, and Buddy the Elf, are pumped. Adults are hit with reality, knowing they have a list of things to buy and do that just won’t get finished in time.
But if we knew it was really, truly just about being, and not about buying, I am willing to bet (fake money) we’d look forward to it much more.
Not looking to change the world. Or even America. Just thinking out loud – flipping things upside down to see what it’s like underneath. And it’s not a bad view.