Every holiday season I am awed by the focus on consumerism. It amazes me how much we think we “need” to be festive, celebratory, and giving in a material sense. Being festive, celebratory, and giving can actually be a state of mind, a place in your heart, and an energy of how you interact with others throughout the season.
As the year comes to a close, I have been looking back at my own conscious living journey to acknowledge some of my own epiphanies and triumphs. This year has been full of life lessons, expansions, and personal growth. The more I step away from societal norms and expectations the happier I have become. I have tuned into more of what my heart truly desires, and not how these desires fit into society’s expectations.
I believe we often worry too much about meeting the standards that we think others have for us, that we create ridiculous standards for ourselves.
A few weeks ago I meet up with a friend for lunch wearing a black dress with a green scarf that has been one of my go-to pieces this fall/winter. This past weekend I ended up wearing the same black dress with a different sweater jacket to a ladies brunch. My friend didn’t even notice that my outfit was a modified repeat.
This moment reminded me that being concerned about having abundant variations of certain possessions definitely wasn’t necessary to create a lasting memory or enjoyable experience.
This past weekend my husband and I did a huge closet clean-out of all the closets in our home. During this process I put aside current holiday catalogs to be recycled. I had purchased a pair of sunglasses online last December and was unexpectedly flooded with holiday catalogs from the same company and their sister stores this December.
Inside each catalog were photos of beautifully dressed models in festive attire having a wonderful time socializing at holiday parties. When you think about the psychology of marketing, you would be led to believe that if you purchased that sequin skirt or velvet dress that your holiday would also be extraordinary, and you would look equally chic. Yet if you are having an argument with your significant other, your family is getting on your last nerve, or you are extremely stressed with last minute deadlines at work, does having that sequin skirt or velvet dress really make anything better?
Marketing for the holidays does not focus on creating inner peace, confidence, self worth, contentment and harmony, or there would be no money to be made.
If we focused solely on creating harmony with ourselves, loved ones, and co-workers, we would all become very selective in how we spent our time, energy, and money. Excessive consumerism seems to be an unending cycle of looking to discover your heart inside stores, and measuring your self worth comparably to what is purchased.
With everything there is balance. Giving gifts, dressing up for holiday gatherings, and spending time with those we love can look anyway that we desire it to look. I think it’s important to focus on holiday cheer on the inside first before deciding how we desire it to manifest on the outside.
What have been some of your holiday observations?
(Image by Dawn Michelle)