Before you join the shopping madness, take a minute to think if that is REALLY how you want to spend the next month – month and a half… Being unable to walk down the store aisle without bumping into a million people? Picking out items while being elbowed in the ribs from at least three different directions? Waking up at the crack of dawn to go stand in a long line out in the cold, hoping that you will be able to buy something a few bucks cheaper than usual? And then praying that you can gift it to someone? Who cares if you will end up maxing out all your credit cards, right?! Who cares that after all is said and done, you will realize that you do not really need the things you bought? Who cares that you will realize that you have no money to pay your mortgage with and that you will have to go stand in yet another line to return the unwanted items?
Will you realize that this special Holiday Season should have been spent on nourishing your human connections and fostering your spirituality (whatever it may be) rather than mindless shopping? I sure hope it will not be too late when you do…
Of course, that does not mean that you should give up on getting gifts for your loved ones, and even getting something for yourself, but it means that taking a moment before all the madness ensues and figuring out a plan of action might be a good idea.
Just about a week ago, Chinese people celebrated “Singles’ Day”. Yes, it is what it sounds like – a Valentine’s Day contr-holiday, during which single people celebrate their singledom. I think. Any excuse to pamper yourself is a good excuse. Am I right, or am I right? Well, at least it used to be about celebrating singletons. Now it is yet another excuse to spend obscene amounts of money. Alibaba, which is the e-commerce giant in China, announced that over $24 BILLION was spent during the Singles’ Day shopping spree. The sales amount to more than the sales from Black Friday and Cyber Monday here in the States. Wooow! The numbers seem to be growing every year, too. “On Singles’ Day, shopping is a sport, it’s entertainment” – said the co-founder of Alibaba. Is it not weird what is considered a sport and/ or entertainment nowadays?
If you got to this point in this blog, I need to thank you for sticking with it and not getting offended by the first few paragraphs. My intention is not to bash, but to make you re-consider your routine. Black Friday is so ingrained in us that we see it as just another part of our Thanksgiving weekend. Personally, I am not much into crowds and standing in lines, so I usually complete my shopping before Thanksgiving comes. However, every year when the fall approaches, I follow all the articles about which stores will be, and which ones will NOT be open on Thanksgiving (for early Black Friday) and what people think about that. Although the views are still mixed, there are more and more people who consider Thanksgiving mostly a family and friends day. Sure, everyone is free to go shopping whenever, and I feel like some stores will remain open on Thanksgiving’s afternoon as long as there are customers. And if you saw last year’s videos/ pics, you know there ARE customers. Thankfully (or not), I have never worked in retail, but I somewhat sympathize with the employees, who MUST cut their family dinners short just so they can go and open the store’s doors. The customer has a choice to stay home or go shopping, the retail worker often does not. And it is sad. Some people joke that going shopping on Thanksgiving day is a good excuse to get out of more family time. While I completely get it and even… agree (lol), I cannot stop to wonder how many more of those moments I will get with my loved ones… And I definitely cannot rob a random cashier from their time with their families.
Do you have your presents all taken care of? If not, will you go to a brick and mortar store to get them, or will you do the shopping online from the convenience of your home? What do you like most about the Holiday Season?