Friday, November 27, 2009

I have a hard time with this . . .

It's appropriately named "Black Friday."

The thought of our rampant consumerism today truly made me nauseous.  Seriously, my stomach was in knots this morning as I drove past Wal-mart and saw the parking lot filled with cars and people filtering out of the store with armloads of electronics and unnecessary plastic objects for their children.  It's a feeling I've had for some time now, just a sickening "bleah" in the pit of my stomach as we approach the holidays.

I've found myself these past few weeks becoming more and more frustrated with what appears to be every American's right to consume, consume, consume.  From the insanity surrounding the latest "In and Out Burger," to the lines that begin at 3am in front of the local "Target" store,  even to the outrageous Christmas displays and home decor people give so much of their time, energy, and money.

Maybe it was spending time in India, maybe it was being closely associated with my friend's humanitarian efforts in Africa, or maybe just realizing that enough is enough.  Whatever it is, I've become quite disillusioned with how the majority of the populace never seemed satisfied, never can get enough of what they don't need, and continue their neverending quest for more "stuff."

How many Americans even think that somewhere on the planet where discounts, knick-knacks, and superstores don't exist, the greatest luxury is to have clean water, protective shelter, and nutrient rich food.  I struggle with this, and today it really got to me, but it did turn into a teaching moment for the children as we drove past that parking lot - a moment to talk about "needs" and "wants" and how much do we really "need" to live happy and fulfilling lives.

It's not much - family, home, good friends, service, the Gospel, memories, time, neighbors, goodness, love.

These items will never be found on "Black Friday."


Kristi said...

amen! I love this post. I refuse to even leave my house on Black Friday. I can't stand any of it. I understand wanting to save money, but the mindset, the crowds, the general gluttony... it's just so distateful.

We all need to simplify, myself included. "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." I hope the people I love know where my heart is.


Kristin said...

Ditto to what SHE said!
Last year I did black friday, I blogged it, it was a nightmare. It was my first and LAST black friday.
I really struggle with even liking Christmas bc of all this. Seriously. My kids need to learn to do with less, not make me lists of things they HAVE to have. I wish we could afford to go to some third world country over Christmas, to show our kids how blessed they truly are.

Kelly said...

Amen, Sista!

Michelle said...

I'm with you. It's taken me a few years to suppress the desire to shower my kids with gifts because my parents always overdid it, but we've got it down to one gift from Santa, one from mom & dad, plus the girls exchange something small and so do the boys. And I'm all done, even the stockings! I love that I can relax and focus on fun and meaningful memories now. Looking forward to the concert with you guys! How's the house selling/finding going?