I feel like I’m running so late on writing now, all the time. I made it through being sick, work is busy and time is precious. But here I am, and no matter how long it takes, I’m always happy to see the words flowing as I type. It’s one of the few times my head stops thinking. Not that I don’t have plenty of ideas to write about. And since I missed posting on Thanksgiving (I was working my day job, and sick as well), plus for me, the Christmas season doesn’t ever really start until December anyway, here I am. My first few truly available minutes in a week or so. I’m grateful to be here writing again.
Gratitude. That’s a big thing for me. And it should be for all of us. But since I am back in retail, unfortunately, I don’t see a lot of it. In fact, at this time of year I often wonder if I see less of it than any other time. You see, even as a kid, the idea of consumerism had already taken over the holidays, especially Christmas. It was never meant to be that way. I remember when the corporations started leaving businesses and stores open on holidays for “consumer convenience.” Make no mistake, folks, convenience was the furthest thing from their minds when they started that. And no, it’s not a day of “easy money”, no one will show up. Thanksgiving Day was busier than it was today.
My point to all of this is simply this… it doesn’t have to be this way. It didn’t used to be this way. And, we, the people, have the power to change it. We don’t have to accept corporate driven holidays, or just another reason to go spend money that we can’t afford, or may not have to begin with. Historically, people made gifts for each other. I used to make them for everyone – the kids in the family, the adults, even for friends to give to their family members. Didn’t matter if I baked goodies, painted ceramic ornaments, or made candles and afghans. The gifts were loved more than anything you could buy at the store. Even if you aren’t crafty, you probably know someone who is, or you’ve seen the advertisements for a local business.
To break the consumer cycle is easy. To give your friends and family a day off work is easy. Shop local. Buy local. Take the money away from the corporations and put it where it belongs – with one of your neighbors. Show your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews where, and how, things are made. They will appreciate that more than anything you can buy them that I will sell you when I’m at work. That’s where the real value is. And that’s where the real gratitude comes from.