With Halloween 2010 already fading into the past, Americans seem to have moved their focus towards the next big Holiday: Christmas.
Now, I'm sure some of you are asking, "What about Thanksgiving?" Don't worry I'm saying it too, but we need to look at the shopping season from Wall Street's viewpoint. Unless retailers sell cooking supplies, they make less from Thanksgiving than they will from Christmas. Hence, advertisements are going to showcase "amazing deals" for possible Christmas gifts.
While it is easy to get swept up into buying hundreds of dollars worth of presents, this year I have a challenge for those reading this blog: only ask for two gifts. Yep, you read that right: two. It might sound difficult, but the modern point of Christmas isn't just about presents; it's also giving to others and spending time with your family and friends.
Simply put, reducing the number of gifts you ask for will decrease the unnecessary emotional and financial stress of buying others the "perfect" gift. Asking for two gifts also helps bring back the importance of gift giving; presents are a representation of the gift giver and their relationship to the receiver.
Ralph Waldo Emerson expressed the importance of a personal connection with the gifts you give when he wrote:
"The only gift is a portion of thyself. Thou must bleed for me. Therefore the poet brings his poem; the shepherd, his lamb; the farmer, corn; the miner, a gem; the sailor, coral and shells; the painter, his picture; the girl, a handkerchief or her own sewing. That is right and pleasing... when a man's biography is conveyed in a gift."
There is something inside all of us that seems to explode with delight when we open a wrapped gift (or in Katy Perry's case whenever you're happy). This feeling is not enough to warrant excise items that we don't need. Adding to this, if you are going to ask for several gifts, why not make them things that others can benefit from as well, like donations to various charities or humanitarian efforts? Considering this is a blog, and not a professional journalism outlet, I feel comfortable saying that my charity of choice is The Humane Society of the United States.
Putting up decorations, baking cookies, and watching holiday movies are great ways of spending time with those you love, without breaking the bank. With many Americans, and humans, still facing tough economic times, who wouldn't celebrate this?
So, besides me, who is going to accept this challenge? Write comment below if you like this idea or if it makes your Christmas Spirit Radar scream "Scrooge."
P.S.-You might consider being nice to your friends and family by announcing this before they spend time and money buying various gifts for you.