I came to a conclusion this Christmas season: there are too many things in this world. In the Western world for sure.
There are Christmas villages, Christmas fairs, Christmas stores, and than every other Store has Christmas line of products as early as November, some October. Not as bad as in other places where it starts in September... like Philippines for instance. I'm not aware if things start earlier in any other place, but I wouldn't be surprised.
As I browsed various stores, the creativity, the variety, and the number or things on display is endless. And you know what? Looking at all there is it occurred to me that there are not enough people to buy them all. Even discounted. Shoppers were scarce and some shops were quite empty day after day despite all the cute, beautiful Christmas ornaments and gifts offered. If anyone made money it was surely the venues renting out the spaces. Made money... It's about that.
I find it somewhat amusing how people rely so much of studies and research these days, as if you have to have proof of everything before stating it. Yet if you pay attention you will observe with a naked eye what's going on. However, it turns out someone did some study and found that 14 shops per day are closing on high streets in the UK. And if you do a search "stores closing down uk" you will find name after name of retailers big and small downsizing or going under completely.
As far as I see, there are way too many clothes, shoes and things around here. For all to sell you'd have to have people shopping full time. Is this what we are made for? To shop till we drop? Obviously not.
Or is Christmas about that and giving gifts, or getting drunk, getting into fights, or going home crying, as I've observed on Christmas Eve?
Don't get me wrong. I'm not against gifts. It's a beautiful tradition. A gift is when it's given out of free will by definition, but I think it's often felt as an obligation. It puts pressure on people. And how come Santa doesn't bring one gift, but so many? Does the marketing industry, pushing this consumer culture, lullaby us into taking that as a norm? Like zombies going thru the motion to match the images broadcasted on the big screens, without stopping to question whether that manipulation does us or our children any good.
It is rather about giving the gift of love and good quality time with loved ones, reaching out, talking about the reason for this season and the difference it has made; leaving the worries and the bad behind, being thankful for what we've got, and forgiving so that healing of mind and soul comes.
So, I'll say, let the shops close. Let things come into balance and let joy flows from above in and out of hearts full of gratitude. Than the New Year will be happy indeed! 3>