Monday, November 30, 2009

Fending Off Commercialism

This morning I was wakened out of a sound sleep by the phone ringing at 8:30 am. Actually I had two phone calls. But the one I want to talk about was a credit card company. I had gone a tiny bit over my limit because I forgot that I charged something when I charged a large vet bill last Friday, and they wanted payment NOW. My bill wasn't even due yet, but they had to have that over the limit bit immediately or actions would be taken! Nevermind that I am never late and always pay my bill in a timely manner, and nevermind that I frequently pay more than they ask for. Apparently this huge company that keeps raising their astronomical interest rates was going to go broke if they didn't rudely wake me up to get their 58.00 at 8:30 am this morning.

Aside from my annoyance over being treated like a criminal first thing in the morning when I have always been a very good customer, a certain horror hit me. I had gone over my limit on my credit card, and I had done it Christmas shopping. I never go over my limit! Maybe one other time in ten years and that was an emergency.

I have stated before that I like Christmas shopping. I love all aspects of Christmas, both the celebration of Christ's birth which is the reason for the season and the gift giving/Santa Claus fluffy side of it. I like the shiny, nicely scented stores with their decorations and music playing in the background, and finding that perfect little treasure for someone that will make their heart happy.

But it struck me that I have bought into commercialism...literally. I like to make people happy by buying them nice presents, but do they really need so many retail things to feel loved? Of course not.

So in an effort to fight off the commercialism of the season I have made a vow to myself. For the month of December, I am not buying anything else commercially made as a present, for my house or clothes. I still have to buy food of course, and the exception to the rule would be an emergency like say...the washing machine or coffee maker blows up, something of that nature.

I am going to take a stand against commercialism. Anything I have left to get for anyone, I will either buy from another artist or make it myself. Anything I need to buy for the house or myself I will either get used or go without.

It's a tall order I have set for myself because I am a bit of a shopaholic. But I know I can do it!


icandy... said...

I am determined to have a handmade Christmas this year~ with the exception of our kids... they will be the only ones we'll shop "new" for.
I am pretty excited about this and I have started working on projects each day! It really is a great feeling!

Darlene said...

I admire your resolve. One year we only gave presents that each of us made, it is one of my fondest Christmas memories.
Now I am rather a shop-a-holic when it comes to clothes so good luck girl, I'm pulling for you.
And Christina it will be great!

Papillon Bleu said...

I understand your anger when you refer to the bank.Yes, they can make us feel like criminals in spite of your loyalty and even if you've never made a istake before.But according to the credit crunch etc...THEY should be treated like the criminals!!!

This year I don't know what to do about my Xmas presents because I have just lost my job.My familly always buy lots of presents and I feel embarrassed if I can't do the same.Sometimes I just wished they stopped doing this so I didn't feel that pressure or embarrassment if I can't buy things like they do.
With my partner we have agreed that the maximum between us would be ONE book.We just want our Christmas to be warm and cosy.I don't have children and yet, I have to buy presents for all the other children whom I think are already very spoilt all year long.What is the point?Do they understand the true meaning of Christmas?
Sorry...feeling a bit grumpy today...
Hope to hear from you soon!

Cheryl said...

It's a wonderful idea, Kelly. We tend to keep Christmas presents low key in our house. This year the girls are getting bears that I made and a few stocking stuffers--many purchased from Etsy. This year I also bought a lot of family Christmas and birthday gifts at art fairs during the summer. It was so nice buying our parents unique gifts and supporting other artists.
Heaps of Hugs,
Bingle Bears

Amanda said...

We were only talking about this the other day. My niece and nephew have lots at Christmas, not spoiled but they wait all year and thats when they get stuff. Still a lot though. I'm lucky with my daughter, 14, she wants a box of toffee and some white chocolate Lindors and .....nothing much else. I've bought her a few gifts but I don't go overboard. She will love the Hello Kitty miniature that I intend to make. One of my nicest presents last year was a handmade furry heart off a friend. She did not make it but it was lovely and supported someone who did. Start a revolution, we could even have a show and tell of handmade gifts,well after Christmas.

ginger@bearbits said...

I admire your commitment. I have plans for handmade gifts - I hope I don't run out of time or energy before they are finished. It's a great way to enjoy the season - making things from the heart. Good luck with your holiday plans!

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