I dropped by Myers today to check if they had any Christmas decorations worth bothering with (and not ridiculously expensive) as I no longer can leech off my parents supply being married and all… While I was there I overhead a woman say to her friend.
“We gave the poor our other stuff, so now we’ve just got the good stuff out”.
Naturally, this evoked a kind of (righteous – which is perhaps over justified) indignation. I still went and bought the decorations in my hand.
I’ve been thinking quite a bit about how to treat Christmas this year and how to balance how I think I want to live – unbound by consumerism, which I do so incredibly poorly, and how I actually live – which is mostly as I always have.
How do you balance the giving of presents, because you love particular people and it’s part of Christmas, with giving where giving is more about life than about making people feeling good?
I like the idea of Advent Conspiracy, because of the principle of cutting back and yet giving more where it counts works. It’s not flawless though.
Surely you can’t truthfully have a parallel philosophy in wasting money on mostly useless stuff to give to your family and friends, and using money on something as key to life as water, health care, security, food.
Undoubtedly I am driven my selfishness, by the expectations around me, the traditions I love… because I am inconclusive about how to deal with it.
So for yet another year I will sit on this wobbly middle ground, which in reality is probably still closer to the bank I started on, just as far from the side I would idealisiticaly like to want myself.