HallowThanksMas

I am not a fan of HallowThanksMas – retailer obsession with rushing us from one holiday to the next and the buy, Buy BUY! messages that rival the shouting of Wall Street stock traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

glass and plastic bottles and boxes, cardboard boxes, other refuse

We choose whether our holidays are about consumption and a hollow ‘thanks much,’ or use the time to renew relationships.

With all of this focus on consumption, it’s easy to turn this time of year into hollow thanks much.

I zipped into a store in late August for a few things and found myself immersed in a sea of harried mothers with that gleam of relief is near in their eyes and excitedly vocal short stuff – ah yes, back-to-school madness. You cannot see children eager to begin learning again and not feel your spirits rise. Amid the school supplies was a large display of Halloween candy. It was no less than 65 days before the holiday.

By September, full Christmas displays sat right next to Halloween displays without a trace of embarrassment.

You say Thanksgiving – the America-born and bred holiday – and I see a gathering of family and friends. Retailers know it as the start of open season on shoppers.

Can we please celebrate our holidays sequentially, as they occur? Can we celebrate them for their meaning and purpose? Can we spend as much time and effort in planning get-togethers and spending time with family and friends as we do trying to get the best deals and the latest gadgets?

Of course we can. It is our money, we can spend it in accordance with our values. They are our children, we can teach them the values we want them to hold, and how to deal with peer pressure and commercial influences. We can choose to build relationships on consumption, or build them through conversations and connections.

When our focus is on our relationships and not on consumption, we show others they are an important part of our network, we reinforce our feelings for them, and we know we are effective and caring.

“In consumer life we become what we consume –

disposable junk to be used and thrown away.”
~ author Bryant McGill 

Your Personal Appraisal

  • Do I give gifts as a substitute for personal interaction?
  • Do I make time to be with friends and family?
  • What values do my holiday shopping and celebration habits display?

Life Is Honest, Open and True

This year:

  • Shift your gift buying from things that are used to experiences that can be shared.
  • Instead of checking people off your list, put them on the calendar for a visit by phone or in person
  • Gift yourself – make time in your personal calendar to do what you want to do, and then do it with someone you care about.

Thanks to the feedback I got from many friends on Facebook about HallowThanksMas

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