The True Cost Of Christmas

The true cost of Christmas may actually be temporary insanity. For me. For many.

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I haven’t felt quite myself since last Friday, when against my better judgement I relented and agreed to an impromptu shopping trip. I should have known better, many stores had just received the start of their Christmas stock.

Let me explain…

I do not like shopping. I dislike window shopping and store browsing. I detest queueing and navigating my way around aisle upon aisle. The visual noise made by rows of trinkets makes my eyes sore, my head spin. My heart sinks, rather than soars, at infinite shelves lined with uniform (usually heavily packaged) items shipped from overseas. Hallucinating – I imagine huge containers spilling over with soulless products, priced to sell – in many cases devoid of quality and potentially ethics.

I smell plastic. I see packaging. I fear clutter and am near guaranteed landfill.

The claws of consumerism slowly, effectively, tighten their grip around my neck. My heart begins to race, but not with pleasurable anticipation – the feeling is much more sinister. I begin to panic.  An alarm sounds inside my mind. Fight or flight response kicks in. It’s time to make my exit.

It’s no exaggeration when I say I reach breaking point on most excursions. Trip aborted I can be seen heading for the door stating ‘that’s enough’. Ask anyone who has accompanied me – regularly there’s a trail of abandoned items in my wake while striding toward the exit.

September to December my condition becomes worse.

For my own health I need to make a stand. Why allow one of my favourite times of the year to also feel the most uncomfortable?

Every year, in the lead up to the festive season, I shop less and less. But every year this includes compromise, balancing consumerist culture with my own beliefs. What if this year I didn’t compromise?

Can it be done? Who knows?

Let’s see shall we? I do love an experiment.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – Ghandi

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • sharon October 6, 2016, 3:50 pm

    I shop with a list and get in & out as quickly as possible. I don’t like wandering around a mall aimlessly, and I don’t have the cash for a lot of shopping either.

  • Clare October 7, 2016, 3:48 am

    Love this! You have described a Christmas shopping experience so accurately! I am not a big fan of crowded shopping centres either. If I need to buy something and I have a list, fabulous! I’m in and out quickly with a purpose! Otherwise my browsing of the shops is limited to a short period of time and usually involves a certain tweenage daughter and a book store 🙂 I definitely think a non-consumer Christmas can be done. My kids are getting cash from their grandparents so they can buy the digital things they want for their Roblox accounts and their Kindles, hubby and I are getting Ancestry.com DNA tests to find out our genetic make-up (my parents had it done last year, fascinating! I should be about 50% Irish, but each individual can throw up different things that may not have shown up in their parents. Can’t wait!) Zoe is also getting tickets early, as the show is in November, to see Thatcher Joe and Caspar Lee (I get to go too! Yippee!!) from us and my son is getting his long awaited external hard drive to store his youtube videos on (he has a gaming channel…it’s all he talks about!) It’s unlikely I’ll have to visit the shops this Christmas for anything except groceries 😀 And I love the supermarket 😀 Just not on Christmas Eve!

  • Jenny Young October 7, 2016, 1:44 pm

    I have always hated shopping & it’s one reason I love online shopping so much.

    Like Sharon, I shop with a list. We make out our budget early, decide how much to spend on who & then I shop, mostly online. I love giving gifts to friends & family so the headache of shopping is worth it for me.

  • Rachelle Strauss October 8, 2016, 11:27 am

    I suffer from panic attacks so haven’t been into a town centre for 15 years. Goddess bless the person who created online shopping! Without it, I don’t know what I’d do. And I love to support WAHM on Etsy or go to a local craft fair to support local people. Aside from that I give experiences rather than gifts. It’s incredibly hard to balance, but slowly over the years I’m moving towards something that works for me. I now celebrate on 21st December, on the Solstice and only buy gifts for my DH, DD, mum and Dad. Nobody else gets anything. DO I sound like a scrooge? I really don’t care now! I know you will gradually find something that works for you; I can feel it 😉 x

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