Over-commercialization and Counting Your Blessings

Check this out: I’m one of those people who believe the holidays have become overly commercialized. On November 1st, I turned on my television to see a Christmas commercial for Meijer’s. Mind you, I am nursing my post-Halloween hangover, and Meijer’s wants me to buy Christmas presents.

I haven’t even wrapped my head around Thanksgiving and consumerism is already trying to put its hands in my pockets!

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Black Friday is a big “holiday” here in ‘Merica. People wake up at insane and ungodly hours to camp outside of Walmart so they can get a flat screen TV for $150. This year, stores are opening earlier than ever: K-Mart is open from 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving day to 11 p.m. on Black Friday. That’s nearly 48hrs of literal madness.

Have we gotten so greedy and materialistic that we’ll not only leave our families, but force others to do the same so we can get a jump on our Christmas shopping?

This is foolish. I have never participated in Black Friday, nor will I. First, I enjoy my post-overeating slumber way too much to wake up at 2 a.m. Second, we live in Michigan, where it’s cold in November. There isn’t enough peppermint schnapps or whiskey to put in my coffee that will keep me warm. Third, anyone who tries to snatch a Tickle Me Elmo from me is instantly getting the hands. I’ve heard stories of people getting trampled to death over things like this and

I am simply not about that life.

Lastly, I enjoy spending time with my family. As a postgrad, I work a lot and don’t go home very often. I value my independence and enjoy doing my own thing, but the person I am today is a direct result of my upbringing.

Contrary to popular belief, you are who you are because your family is who they are.

As cliché as it sounds, Thanksgiving truly is a time to give thanks and appreciate what you have. There is a roof over my head. I have not one, but two jobs. My bills are paid on time, if not early. I have a degree from an amazing university (Go State!). I have a few people who occasionally notice when I fall off the grid, and my family doesn’t hate me. I have money to buy groceries, plus I’m a darn good cook so everything is delicious.

Life may not be spectacular, but it ain’t so bad.

This holiday season,

I challenge you

to not hand your parents/sibling/significant other a giant list of all the things you think you want. Instead spend some quality time with the people you love. Have a nice dinner. Play a board game. Watch a movie. Do something gooey and romantic, or downright silly.

Bond with those around you. And turn off your gosh darn cellular device while you’re at it.

Besides, Cyber Monday is where it’s at. No lines, no waiting, no fighting with others or trampling. And you don’t need to wear pants, which is always a bonus.

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