Thursday, October 7, 2010

Beginning to Look Like Christmas

Imagine my chagrin when I find Christmas trees prominently displayed at Sam's Club instead of giant bags of miniature candy. I get it, Sam's doesn't want me to get fat because I'm going to stuff the bags in my freezer and leave my lights off on Halloween night. Nice of them. But really? Christmas trees? In the first week of October? Give me back my Halloween and Thanksgiving festivities, if you please! Hmph.

Thanksgiving is actually my favorite holiday. It has all the togetherness and home cooking of Christmas without as much stress and definitely without the commercial drive to buy everything in sight. In all frankness, I'm not really looking forward to Christmas this year. I'm sick of buying and giving presents to people who don't really want them or need them. Just how many iPod gift certificates does a person want in their lifetime anyway? And how does that make any kind of positive difference in anyone's life? I'm turning more and more into a Scrooge every day.

That being said, I still want to get something for my kids and my husband. I like buying them stuff because I get to see them enjoy (or at least use) their gifts. Isn't that the point anyway? How can we truly enjoy giving when we have no idea how the gift impacts the person?

This year, I want everyone who feels compelled to buy me something to go to and donate money to Living Water International instead. Wouldn't it be cool to be part of fixing a global problem? As many serious global issues as there are, this is one that is rather easy to mend. And I don't have to know the people to know how they're impacted. I've hiked around for days and had to carry all my own water on me. Having water fresh and close by is such a blessing. I am always so glad to be able to turn on the tap and drink my daily 3L of water. I'm sure the people receiving the "gift" from the LWI folks will be much more grateful than I ever could be.

Something Christmas-related that did crack me up was this article from MSNBC. Call me mean, but check this out:

Such basics will likely resonate with consumers like Muna Abdushukui, 29, who lost her job working in a gift shop two months ago, and has had a hard time finding work.

Abdushukui, who was at the Mall of America in Minneapolis recently with her 3-year-old daughter, said she's just sticking to the necessities.

"I'm buying food," she said.

If she's only "buying food", then why was she at the MALL OF AMERICA???!!! Does that seem strange to anybody else? If you're trying to lose weight, you stay away from buffets. If you're trying to save money, you stay away from malls-especially one like that. I'm sorry, but it's just funny. I'm find zero humor in her difficulty finding work, so please don't think I'm horridly unfeeling and mean. It's just the journalist's choice to include that location with that quote is unintentionally hilarious to me.

Aside from that strange humor, the article has good news for all you folks still planning on celebrating a typical over-the-top American-style Christmas. Apparently, we haven't spent enough in stores this year, so they're going to seduce us into parting with our money by offering their stuff at great a SALE. I used to be such a sucker for that word. Now it usually only works in the grocery store. Buyer beware! Do your research before buying anything on sale, especially if it's from a chain store. Trust me, they are going to make their money somewhere, so stick to your guns and buy only the bargain you've validated!

Here's a good Christmas challenge: Review your gift list and see how many people you can trim from it. If you don't really want to give the person a gift out of love or out of desire to fulfill one of their needs, then why are you giving it to them? If you must give them the gift due to familial standing or something like that, then give a donation in their name instead. That way, you can help a cause you truly believe in vice giving the person something you bought at the last minute. Just a thought.

-Domestic Goddess out.


  1. I'm with ya sista!! :-) although I must admit, I looovvee real Christmas trees and would be tempted to go ahead and get one if i saw them available. the smell in the house is wonderful! on the gifts though, u don't have to worry about me getting you one unless it's just a picture of Rebekah, which you can't have too many of!! Our "tradition" with Rebekah is going to be buying 3 gifts for her for Christmas (and not expensive either - socks, undies, and stuff don't count towards the 3). we want Christmas to be about Jesus..she can get lots of gifts when her birthday comes around!

  2. Sounds like a great tradition. We only give one gift and let the grandparents do the rest. There's no containing them, no matter how hard we try!

  3. I know throughout the years we tried to give gifts at Christmas people would really enjoy. Even though we asked we didn't always know what to get. I personally would rather give someone an IPOD gift card (and you can never have too many, if you listen to your IPOD) than give someone a gift I think they may like but won't use. We still give to those less fortunate than us as well. I love Christmas, it's one of the few times we see a lot of family. We've been going to the valley for over 30 years,even before we had kids. They don't know any other tradition and I wouldn't change those memories for anything. Christmas only stresses you out if you let it.

  4. That's true, Christmas only stresses us out if we let it. I'm so glad that your Christmas experience is not that way at all. However, how many people buy into the "must have this, must do that" mentality sold to us in commercials, movies, etc.? Plus, there are people who stress no matter how routine or fun something may be or can be.

    I just think that more people should take Christmas for what it is, as you do: be with family, give to people you love, give to people who are needy, and enjoy the occasion.

    After all, the point is to celebrate life, not worry about the world. Thanks for the comment!

  5. According to this "expert" from the Retail Federation, she says that the survey data shows shoppers are expected to purchase Christmas gear much earlier this year. She is spinning the data to convey the 'chicken vs egg argument', i.e. which came first the Christmas gear or the shoppers. But this new data is coming from an "expert" from the Retail Federation, who would never dime out their fellow retailers who are striving to "just put everyone in the Christmas spirit" or as I would say it, the "Christmas Shopping mood". Check out the video and let me know what you think: