According to this article, WallyWorld is predicting we Americans will spend lots of money on toys for our kids but only buy each other underwear or some other "practical" item for Christmas. Wow. Apparently, this downturn in the economy has taught us to be practical only when it comes to inter-adult gift giving. Why should we use this difficult time to teach our kids to always be practical when it comes to gift giving-or to [buying] anything else, for that matter? Ugh.
Sure, I love getting gifts as much as any other Average Jane does. Who doesn't like unwrapping the surprise that may lay within? But in all honesty, once you watch Advent Conspiracy's video, you kind of have to reevaluate the whole idea of excessive giving at Christmas, regardless of your spiritual beliefs. Although Advent Conspiracy is a religious-based organization, it's easy to see the AC team is working to do great things for humanity in general.
If you're not the religious type, watch Annie Leonard's "The Story of Stuff" video. Reducing Christmas giving would have a huge impact on the state of the health of our Earth. Plus, once you realize how big companies are playing us for our money, you may not want to buy as much any more.
As for me, I'm not going to completely give up gifts. I'm resolving to be a responsible gift-giver this Christmas. Check out this great idea from BeatingDebt.org called "Debt Free Christmas." You have the opportunity to volunteer for the organization by committing to celebrating the season without incurring any debt and then doing one of the following: organizing a personal debt education rally; placing educational signs around your workplace, housing area, school, etc.; providing convincing reasons to stay away from debt (e.g., via a blog); or giving up some of your gifts for charity.
I've decided to commit to staying debt free this season, and I'm going to blog about staying away from debt and ask people to donate to charities instead of giving me gifts. You may be surprised, though. Even though I asked for donations in my name instead of gifts last year, I still got gifts. Lots of them. It was a little discouraging, but I did get two family members to donate instead of buy me stuff. As time passes, I'm sure people will get used to not giving me things. It'll just take some time to break certain people (like my parents) of the habit. :)
And if someone does decide they absolutely have to buy me something, I'm going to ask for new underwear. Goodness knows, we can always put a new pair of those to good use!
-Domestic Goddess out.