Stuff. There’s an awful lot of it around here. Toys. Tools. Appliances. Gadgets. Clothes. Bric-a-brac. Implements of organization. Electronics. So much stuff. And now, apparently, we need more.

We need fun. We need beauty. We need distractions. We need proof that we love each other. We need pants. We need status. We need peace. We need order. We need power. We need newness. We need vintage. We need answers. We need Siri.

It’s Christmas time. The days when we can officially stop being thankful and start wanting more without shame or restraint. I’ll spare you the moralizing. I wasn’t that thankful. I’m not so satisfied that I don’t want more stuff. I don’t blame the media. I don’t blame companies who want to sell stuff. I don’t blame people who want deals. I’m just bored with the fact that our favorite stuff is crap, our perceived benefits are reconfigured problems, and our gifts suck.

Right now I’d be fine to go without presents. Give me none, expect none. Except that’s the real crappiest gift isn’t it? The gift of a condescending message? Oh, yeah, that’s brilliant and cheap.

This is probably the point of the post where it would be good to have . . . well, a point. I don’t know that I have one. I wish we didn’t feel the need for more stuff. I wish we gave gifts at Christmas out of an overflow of appreciation for each other instead of an insatiable lust for an easier, more presentable, more entertaining life.

Maybe the point is that it’s not a terrible idea to just work hard at satisfying each other. Make the people you love feel loved. Make the people you like feel loved. Make the people you don’t like feel loved. Try not to throw garbage at the people you hate. Oh, and give gifts that show how much you appreciate people. Gifts that mean something. Gifts that don’t come in plastic bubble packaging of death. Because that stuff is evil.

2 Replies to “Humbug”

  1. I like this. A lot. My parents are huge experience gift givers, so there will never be a ton of presents under the tree. This year, they renewed our membership to Taltree for another year, which is 1000 times better than a pile of plastic wrapped gifts. It doesn’t take up room in our house, it won’t break, and will get uncountable use out of it. I’m trying to steer Shane more toward that kind of giving, too, but his family tends to be of the piles and piles of presents under the tree just to have under the tree overflowing. It’s been a hard balance for the two of us, coming from families with two different gift giving styles.

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