It was the morning after Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring… because everyone had gone to the shops.
The festive period is so synonymous with shopping and material objects; the real meaning behind Christmas is forgotten by this tradition that gets bigger and bigger every year, and to me it is a sad state of affairs.
Scrolling through Facebook on Boxing Day, my news feed was full of pictures of the various gifts that had been given and received, with small children surrounded by countless presents. Whilst I do love getting presents for my family and friends, and who doesn’t love receiving a really thoughtful gift, there is a fine line between a lovely gesture and being spoilt. There is no need for excessive present giving, and definitely no need for excessive shopping.
Material belongings are, after all, worthless.
Yes, the big companies will put a price on everything, but all you’re doing is lining their pockets for something you probably won’t even be using in a few months’ time. And even if you are using it, will it have changed your life? Take the iPad for example; is your life truly enriched by owning one? At the end of your life will you be reminiscing about the times you shared with your precious gadgets and other belongings? Are they really imperative to your life?
Importance should not be placed on material belongings at this or any other time of year, and it seems that people forget this. The tradition of gift-giving at Christmas, which was based upon the gifts Jesus received from the three wise men, has exploded into serial consumerism. The time before, during and after Christmas Day is all about stuff; buying it, gifting it, getting it, it’s all about stuff. Silly, frivolous belongings take precedent over the things that are really important, like nurturing the relationships you have with your relatives and friends. When you’re gone they won’t remember the gifts you lavished on them, they’ll remember the times you actually spent together.
Why bother queuing for the sales at 3am on Boxing Day when you could be fast asleep, getting well rested for another day of fun, games, and relaxation with the people you love? Or is that coat at 20% off just way better?