Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ill Effects of Super-Sized Consumerism, Commercialization, Affluenza, etc.

Whatever you want to call it, I feel sick. My stomach has been churning for several days now. And it is not from all the Thanksgiving goodies I stuffed myself with over the weekend.

It's from becoming more and more disgusted with what is occuring in our nation during this Christmas season. Supposedly the most wonderful time of the year. Ah, what am I saying? It's not just Christmas. It's a mindset.

Now, you know I love America. I don't love what we currently find in the majority of America. For some reason, this Christmas has just really brought a lot of things to the surface for me. And before it seems that I am making generalizations about others, let it be known...I am looking in the mirror first.

Wow, it's ugly. It is so easy to get caught up in the wants and the have nots. So easy to become discontent with what I do have. To look at what others have and covet. Really, I don't even have to look at what others have, I can just fall into the trap at the store.

I have been doing really well with purchasing our family's Christmas gifts. We try to limit three gifts for the kids (the original decision was not based on finances, but it sure helps in that area these days...). I confess, I feel like a cheater - I have been known to wrap two shirts together, etc. I've felt guilty for not giving more, for not giving larger gifts. Thoughts that I know are just ridiculous.

I went to a couple of stores the other day with very specific products to purchase and found myself drooling and wishing I could buy all the latest, greatest for my kids. It even happened as I shopped online.

I became frustrated. disappointed. depressed. I wanted to buy! Throw in the bargains and I begin to feel consumed.

Yikes. And my heart broke all over again thinking of the man who just lost his life after being trampled in a crowd on Black Friday morning. And I am sickened. By myself. By the greed. By the complete lack of control and respect for life found today. My stomach hurts and I feel like crying. Does this not send off a message? Does this not speak to America? How could this happen? HOW?

And yet, I know how. Because I don't prefer others over myself. I do not put my fellow brothers and sisters before me. Because all too often I'm looking out for my own good and not yours. Ouch.

All these things are so far from where I want to be. Perhaps that's why God has us in the season we currently find ourselves. Learning to be satisfied with less. Learning to be better stewards of what we do have. Learning to live more simply. Learning to make it our lifestyle. Our choice. Learning to be content in a world that tells us that we lack. Learning to see the lies...

For we lack nothing in God. Then, I'm reminded about what I wanted this season to be like for my family. The traditions we are starting. The purpose. The focus. The things I really want.
Because they cannot be bought on a shelf. And the one thing I truly need, I have received. A priceless gift that I did not deserve.
So, I leave you with this video. You might consider it an addition to my alternative Christmas gift post. I first saw it here on Passionate Homemaking.