Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Holiday Simplicity

Two weeks before Halloween, several shops in my neighborhood began decking their halls.

Two minutes after Halloween, not a ghost or goblin graced store shelves. They’d been replaced by Santa and his reindeer.

Christmas tunes already blare at one shopping strip near my home.

And it’s still two weeks until Thanksgiving, that seemingly forgotten holiday.

I don’t believe for one minute that the yuletide rush has anything to do with the true ‘reason for the season’; it’s simply a brash, bold move in the name of commercialism.

That’s right – I believe our society is one of over-the-top consumerism. Manufactures and retailers know this, and they play upon us to ‘get it now’, ‘get it while it’s on sale’, ‘get it so your children will love you’, and that sort of thing.

Personally, I’ve had enough of them telling me what to do because, quite frankly, I choose to live simply. I don’t have a lot of stuff. I don’t want a lot of stuff.

I don’t need the newest, most high-tech device out there because I like what I currently have. According to my husband, I’m a notorious purger – I simply don’t like anything unused taking up space in my house.

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t understand the big whoop in having a lot of material things. That’s not what the holidays should be about, and it certainly isn’t what life should be about. Some of the most miserable, unhappy people I know are the ones who can (and do) go out and buy any old thing any old time they want.

Keep it simple – that’s my motto. I’ve seen children delight in gifts I’ve given them from The Dollar Store just as much as when they receive gifts I’ve given them from The Fifty Dollar Store. Perhaps if adopt a more childlike (rather than childish) stance, the holidays would be less mentally, emotionally, and financially stressful.

I’d love to see us all take a more elegant approach to giving, receiving, and celebrating this time of year. That means we refrain from camping out in front of stores as Black Friday approaches. It means we steer clear of gigantic inflatable outdoor monstrosities that pass as ‘decorations’. It means realizing that the biggest isn’t always the best, and when we do what we do from the heart rather than for show, we’ll all be better off in the long run.

So I encourage you to celebrate thoughtfully and simply this season.

Beth Newman
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Look, feel, and LIVE your absolute best!

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