Friday, November 23, 2007

I've Got a Question, You've Got an Answer

Now that Thanksgiving is officially behind us here in the US of A, I can accept the fact that we are in the holiday season and Christmas will be on us before I can say "Bob Crachit's your uncle"! I don't care if retailers have the stores jam-packed with Christmas goodies before the last Halloween ghost has had a chance to say "boo!", I don't want to start thinking about Christmas until after the last piece of pumpkin pie has been eaten! I am just a bit of a traditionalist in that way I guess!

Even though it's still over a month until Christmas, retailers have already been whining about what a dismal season it's going to be for them and if there's one thing that frosts my Christmas cookie - that is it right there. Christmas shouldn't be about how much money people pump into the economy, about how many gifts are overflowing from beneath your Christmas tree, about whether or not you got that diamond pendant or fancy new car that they've been pushing on all the commercials, or about how much money retailers like Wal-Mart managed to suck into their coffers.

Christmas should be about peace on earth, good will towards men, and the one time of the year that you can greet a stranger on the street with a hearty "Merry Christmas!" without being eyeballed like you're some sort of internet stalker out for the day. People are supposed to like each other at Christmas, they're supposed to put their differences aside and get along, they're supposed to act like human beings who care about other human beings. Sadly, though, the focus of the holidays has been taken away from that and placed solidly on how much loot you got. It saddens me and I really miss the Christmas seasons of my younger years.

So - after all my ranting and raving about the meaning of Christmas being lost in the rush of consumer sales let me ask you this week's question because inquiring minds really do wanna know -

How much are you planning on spending this holiday season? More than usual? Less than usual? About the same? You're boycotting the holiday?

As much as I would like my answer to be the fourth option, I can't do that because I have kids and grandkids but I can tell you that I will be spending way, way less than I have in years past. Not only because I don't have the extra money to spend on extra gifts but because I believe that the holiday isn't about the gifts despite what Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, and every other retailer out there might have you think. Gifts are nice but they should be given in moderation and not just because more is better. A lot of times, it isn't.

Oh, and you'll notice that I'm not out contributing to the Black Friday craziness but staying home and blogging! I am a bad consumer ... a bad, bad consumer!

22 comments:

  1. about the same...although yesterday, there was some discussion about cutting back this year...

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  2. I got the last of the Christmas presents this morning and I think I have probably spent the same as last year, maybe less (Scrooge!). I'm just glad I've got everything - I just have to wrap them all now!! :(

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  3. We're aiming to do less in quantity but more in quality.

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  4. I'm planning to spend less than last year but that's only because more of my adult family and friends have decided to avoid the hassles of shopping by agreeing not to exchange gifts this year. So it's not because of the economy...it's because of the hassle factor. :~)

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  5. We will be a little less. The grandson has a request in for a major item, and that means that the number of packages will definitely decrease. The rest of us are going to be cards, calls, and a lot of holiday family warmth.

    With you I deplore all of this "Black Friday" nonsense. Massive consumption somehow just rings of way too much greed, though something hand made such as a picture of a plaid wearing plushing wouldn't be bad. :-)

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  6. well honey, i don't buy any, just the family cruise and we give cash to the workers like the mailman and the doormen. but one thing you are not thinking about is the economy. thay is what the retailers are hollering about. the season makes or breaks their profits for the year and like it or not, that is what fuels the rest of the good old us of a. without a good economy jobs go and bonuses dry up and stocks go down and real estate tumbles, etc. so, the bottom line is buy some candy canes honey and save the world! ha ha ha

    smiles, bee

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  7. I guess I could say we have shopped carefully, buying things we want, and not ridiculously.

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  8. Hope your T-Day was great with your family!

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  9. I actually don't mind the out of control consumerism during the holiday season. After all, if we weren't pumping our dollars into the economy, then the economy would tank.

    In answer to the question, I'll probably spend about what I normally do.

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  10. About the same as we always do. This is my favorite holiday, so giving is a big deal for Zane and I. No credit cards though. Not going to pay for Chirstmas for the first six months of the year like I used to do. Great question Linda. :)

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  11. To save money at Wally land, we have exchange seasonal cards with with our adult sons and daughters. Our grandchildren receive gifts on Christmas day.

    My husband keeps reminding me to buy only one gift for our grandchildren because at their age the best present is the wrapping and the boxes! With expensive prices and a expanding family, I have decided to follow his advice. It was too easy to spoil one or two grandchildren but now we have eight grandchildren with two more expected to drop anchor in our harbor by June 2008!

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  12. Definitely LESS this year! Too much going on with older dd's graduation and realizing that the overspending isn't worth it.

    I'm grateful that my dd's are happy no matter how many presents there are under the tree.

    We're going to make more donations to charity and have Peanut be involved in that.

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  13. I was at home in bed on Black Friday. You're so right about the Christmas season beginning earlier each year. I was shopping for some sweaters on Wednesday and they were playing Christmas music and LOTS of public announcements for their Black Friday sales! :p

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  14. This is a year I didn't go out to Black Friday. Yeah I looked at all the ads but nothing caught my fancy ya know. This year will feel better because I will have my grandson here and my niece and nephew. Little kids. Yeah santa is visiting and all the magic and stuff. I enjoyed christmas when I was little it was so totally cool. I will be spending about the same. We are not exchanging with my parents this year cause frankly we all don't need anything. So we will be exchanging good feelings and having fun with my brother and his kids. He hasn't been home for christmas in 14 years. So I think he maybe a little spoiled this year. I loved your question Linda, great post.

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  15. Great post Linda,

    I'll be spending less this year and agree that Christmas is now just a commercial venture for the stores!! It's about time the clock was turned back and Christmas Season put into its proper perspective.

    It exists within our online communities, where we make many friends around the world from all walks of life, and it makes no difference as to what you have or have not got and just look at how the communities bind together :)

    Have a great weekend,
    Colin

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  16. Well, I spent way more on my dad than usual, but I'm making up for Father's Day, Birthday, and Christmas (missed the first two this year due to the move, stress, etc). However, we are cutting back on my step-kids, because they are adults now. And, we don't ever exchange gifts between Hubs and me.

    No Black Friday rush for me either.

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  17. I've seen your comments on other sites so I thought I'd come by and chime in. Spending a lot or a little for Christmas has never really been my objective. I buy what I can afford and give because its fun.

    The hype of Black Friday and all the other commercialism does irritate the crap out of me though. I know the economy needs the stimulation, but I do my part 365 days a year so why should I have to be guilted into over extending now to satisfy the corporations bottom line?

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  18. As you and I spoke about already.... the Holidays would be much more enjoyable to me if we did away with gifts altogether... or limited everyone to just one.. I am so far behind in bills that I , like you, would like to just boycott it altogether, but I'll be doing my share of shopping.. and I'll just sink further behind... Merry Freakin' Christmas...

    P.S. I like the new look!!

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  19. I agree very much with your idea about people losing sight of the reason for Christmas and replacing it with crazy spending. I can see Bee's point about the economy, but way too many people pay for years and years for the Christmas gifts because they put so much on plastic along with giving our kids the idea that everyone has a money tree in the backyard someplace. I could never afford much for my kids when they were growing up -bought things on sale year round and put them back for Christmas or sometimes, a large purchase -like a much needed winter coat -purchased and given well before Christmas but the kid knew that item was part of their Christmas presents. This year, I figure I may spend between $200 and $250 for my three kids, three grandkids, three step-grandkids, son-in-law and future son-in-law -so, a little less than maybe $25 per person is what it equates out to. Up from a few years back when I could barely afford to buy one gift for each kid (no grandkids yet then, thankfully) and couldn't spend more than $10 per kid for about three years running then either. They survived, so did I -once I got over feeling guilty that I couldn't afford to buy them more, that is.

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  20. HA! Ms Bee, if the economy depends on my Christmas spending then y'all better start stocking up on canned goods!

    I finished all shopping a couple of weeks ago. Total bill about $150. I have a rule about Christmas. each child will get 1 gift from Mom and Dad. 1 gift from Santa...something (as in 1 thing) very small in the stocking. THAT'S A MAX. I actually got 1 santa gift for both boys to share this year and only 1 thing for Miss Priss as she's too young to know or care. I WILL NOT have a Dudley Dursley counting up the number or dollar amount of the gifts they get.

    For everyone who doesn't live with me I make Christmas tree ornaments. Total cost this year $0. Some years I need to buy batting or material or ribbon...but this year I already had plenty.

    As I was checking out with my single buggy full of Christmas gifts and telling the cashier that this was everything for me, hubby an all 3 kids and Santa had now LANDED. :-) There was an old guy behind me who said that as they get older I wouldn't be able to do all the shopping in 1 trip. HAHAHA! (Boy, he just proved he didn't know me!) He said he had 4 grandkids and spent between $400-500 PER KID every year!!!!!!!!!

    OH MY GOD!

    So I explained my 2 gift rule. He said if he told his grandson who's 16 that he could only have 1 gift then he'd ask for a Ferrari. I thought no kidding?? WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO THIS KID?????????

    I've let it be known around the family that they should get 1 gift for both boys too. I just don't like having that much crap in my house! Really I don't.

    And NO, receiving gifts is not the meaning of Christmas....GIVING gifts is. We give gifts as a reminder of God giving us His Only Son so that we may be redeemed.

    Starting next year my boys will help me make the ornaments.

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  21. I think we will be spending about the same, maybe a little bit less. Next year will probably be a little bit more, as there will be yet another niece in need of a present, but we try to keep things at an acceptable level of sanity when shopping for presents!

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  22. I am spending less and I never go out shopping on Black Friday! Bravo to remembering the reason for the season!

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