It was a frigid Thanksgiving night in 2009, and there I was standing in the Best Buy black Friday line. Just like everybody else I wanted to get my hands on some new electronics. Huddled in line with the crowd, I some how managed to rub elbows with a few people that even allowed me to skip. At the time I thought that the wait was well worth it, but now I look back and realized how ridiculous I was to be partaking in such foolery. It would be the first, and the last time I would ever join in any of the Black Friday craziness.
I recently viewed videos of Black Friday shoppers in Walmart and various stores, and they were ruthless. There was a lot of pushing and shoving, and just being downright disrespectful to each other. Behold materialism at it’s finest! I must say, when did the holidays become about a shopping spree?
The media has contributed extensively to the holiday frenzy and has the masses on a wild goose chase; buying into whatever they’re selling. Months in advance advertisers are sending out teasers for Black Friday sale items, to draw you in to buy items that you don’t necessarily need. You don’t need another flat screen TV, computer, or another gadget for that matter. We often don’t desire an item until an ad is repeatedly shoved in front of our faces. Bombarded with ads, a light bulb goes off in your head, and immediately you need a particular product, when it’s really just a want. The holiday’s has now become the time of year where everyone tries to keep up with the Joneses’ by splurging on the latest fashions and technology.
I often notice it’s the very same crowd of people who buy into the holiday frenzy, are stressed after the New Year and worried about paying off all the credit card balances they racked up. Not to mention, this is the same mob prior to the holidays crying about a recession. That doesn’t make any sense, how do you crawl out of a hole when you keep digging yourself deeper?
A tremendous amount of time and energy is spent preparing for this fleeting moment that comes and goes. The holidays happen in a flash, so don’t get wrapped up into the consumer greed. Acquiring another item will not make you happy and whole. The very thing that is expected to make you feel complete, in many instances leaves you fairly disappointed. Soon after, you’ll be on another mission to seek out more possessions that you believe will make you whole by obtaining it.
The holiday season is a time for friends and family, but often gets overshadowed by the mass hysteria of shopping. I’m not suggesting boycotting the holidays at all, but what I am advising you to do is remember what the holiday’s represents. It doesn’t matter whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, or Kwanzaa, it’s about togetherness, peace, and goodwill. Let’s look beyond the gift giving towards a more powerful meaning.
How about putting a spin on the holidays by serving the greater good. You can support a children’s toy drive, help out at soup kitchen, assist a family in need, or any other creative contributions. The individuals you help will be so grateful for your generosity, and I’m sure you will take great pleasure in bringing a smile to their faces. I can tell you this much, this enriching experience will make you feel more fulfilled than any holiday gift will.
Do you get drawn into the stressful mania of the holiday season? Why? Is it really worth it to go out on a limb to purchase more stuff, and possibly get indebt? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
Kaye is a Lifestyle & Empowerment Enthusiast, and the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Blissed Out Belle™. Connect with her on Facebook here, and follow her on Twitter @IAmShawnaKaye .