I can hardly believe that I’m talking about this already, but I was in Target the other day to pick up contact solution and one or two other things and all the Christmas and Hanukkah decorations, gift wrapping, and cards were in. Not to mention advertisements for the holidays are already in full force. I’m not sure what it is about this time a year, but some things come up for me.
I love all the beautiful decorations, I’m super excited about cooking and baking, yet I get frustrated with consumerism being the focus of the holiday spirit. I honestly prefer to cook, bake, or bring over a bottle of wine. Because I’m no longer a child, seeing hundreds of gifts under the tree doesn’t create the warmth that it used to. I usually think about the constraints financially that my family members will go through after the holidays. I know the truth about Santa, and know that most of us are spending way out of our means to make the holiday happen as we do every year.
So what really is the holiday spirit? Is it the lavish gifts we give, or is it the amazing quality time that we get to spend together, the scrumptious food, and the joyous parties? Sometimes I wish we could just do Thanksgiving twice and on the second round add some gold ribbon and beautiful lights and call it done. I like the idea of picking names out of a hat and buying a gift for that person and your significant other. I love doing holiday clothing swaps with friends as I wrote about last year, and I never get enough of some yummy vegetarian cooking and baking.
At first I believed that the minimalist lifestyle was for those who were experiencing financial problems or just wanted to travel the world. After watching an episode of Oprah’s Lifeclass with Tom Shadyac, I see that even very well off and successful creatives choose this lifestyle. The holiday season is usually a time when I begin to really look at what living a minimalist lifestyle means to me. It is the perfect time of reflection since this time of year really encourages other ideas and actions.
What comes up for you, and how do you feel about the holidays and consumerism?
(Image by freechristmaswallpapers.net)