In my younger days when CB radio was in vogue, my handle was “Pennypincher.” I love being thrifty. Just as men like game hunting, I love bargain hunting. The key with anything you want is being willing to wait for it. If you have to have it right now, you will probably pay top dollar for it.
Now that Black Friday is over and Cyber Monday has come and gone, I am still amazed at how many businesses are offering me “Black Friday” prices or extending their sales for another day or another week, etc. All this is an effort to create a desire for something because it’s now at a reduced price, to make me want it just because it’s on sale (so they say) and won’t be available at that price much longer.
To those merchants of special offers, I respond with my Christmas greeting: Bah! Humbug! Fully one half to two-thirds of my inbox this week has gone into the delete folder. Even if I was TEMPTED by the sales pitch, I can’t buy. It’s the first week in December. I have a mortgage payment, our semi-annual taxes are due, and so is our car insurance. Just ain’t in the budget.
And neither is Christmas. I am DONE with giving in to the pressure to buy for my loved ones in one fell swoop stuff they probably don’t want or need and stuff I can’t afford. It’s one thing as the months roll along to have someone with a birthday and get them a gift to say I love them. It’s another thing altogether to have this unspoken directive to give a gift to ALL my loved ones at one time. It’s become a budget buster and in all honesty, it’s just downright silly. We gave up on credit cards a long time ago, after hitting a stretch where both my husband and I were unemployed, so thankfully there is no temptation to overdo it anymore. But I look at the advertisements everywhere, the purely ridiculous excesses our society has come to, and I know there has to be some sort of day of reckoning. It’s physically and financially and psychologically impossible to steadily increase the outgo year after year without an income to match it…and I don’t know many people who have the increasing income anymore.
So let’s stop feeding our children lies and fairy tales about Santa Claus and his reindeer, and let’s offer them what they really want and need for Christmas: our time, our attention. Give them our hearts and our ears and our eye contact and just LOVE them unconditionally. Things are just a substitute for the investment of ourselves.
Paul McCartney wrote a song long ago that never made it to the big time, probably because it ran counter to everything the music industry was pushing. It’s called “Junk” and the chorus is golden:
Buy, Buy says the sign in the shop window
Why? Why, says the junk in the yard.