Photo by: iStock

Christmas and My Own Consumerism

Photo by: iStock

Christmas and consumerism. I just had an eye-opening discussion with my oldest daughter about Christmas and consumerism here in the United States. It made me question my own purchase as I hit the “Buy Now” button on my computer screen to purchase a new iPhone case for myself. Somehow, somewhere along the line, I made a somewhat unconscious decision that it was “ok” to spend money not only on others but myself during the busiest shopping time of the year.

Christmas and Consumerism
My daughter brought it to my attention that she struggled immensely with the number of people she checked out at her local retail job. I thought it was due to the extremely busy time of year when people are much less than pleasant. This wasn’t the case at all. She was frustrated at how Americans will spend money on such frivolous items. Or so they seem frivolous in her eyes.

Her love-hate relationship with people, in general, had me questioning where this came from. She said she was made aware of these feelings once she rang up a customer who purchased a silver Weiner dog bottle opener. She thought, “Why on Earth would anyone ever ‘need‘ a silver Weiner dog bottle opener?”. Then she started looking at the different items that people were buying. During conversations many people weren’t buying for other people on their list, they were making these strange purchases for themselves.

To Buy or Not to Buy?
Do you buy that random item that appears to be on “sale” because you just have to have it? If something is cheaper during the holidays do you buy it anyway even if you don’t really need it? Do you really spend all that money on other people, or do you make extra special purchases for yourself? I realized through this conversation that every time I made a purchase for someone on my list, I’d make one for myself! Did I really need that extra pair of jeans? Nope. I have a pair in every other color I think, “Do I really need that crackling wood candle just because I have some extra store cash that I don’t want to let go to waste?” Nope.

Spending Too Much Money!
I admit it! I am a spender! A holiday spender! I can go really overboard if I am not careful, buying things on sale. When I see it, I buy it so when I do need it, I have it. I wish I could be more like my daughter! She will shop at Goodwill for clothing because she can’t stand paying full price ($50+) for a designer pair of jeans when she can get a designer pair at Goodwill for $6.00! This isn’t her thinking just during the holidays. She doesn’t play the Christmas and consumerism game like I do. So, when those numbers come in on how much Americans spend during the month of December and how much in debt we all are in January or February, she will not be included in that list.

I bought a 55″ tv on black Friday. Did I need one? Nah. But I wanted it and it was a good deal so I bought it. I just bought a new iPhone Plus case for a phone I don’t even have yet. Did I need it now? I did not but I have the case for whenever I do buy the phone! I am part of the Christmas and consumerism problem. Going into the New Year, I think I will plan a new strategy for holiday shopping. I will be taking a lesson from my daughters’ playbook and will only buy what I need when I need it!

Phyllis Pometta is raising three, loving yet crazy humans, all while managing the mayhem for her blogging clients as a rockstar Virtual Assistant, and sharing her take on the world on She’s caffeinated, paid in chocolate, and can be found most days hanging out on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, but don’t tell her husband!

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