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