Friday, February 13, 2009
Do I Want Valentine's Day Presents?
Well, of course I do...I am human.
But it doesn't have to be about "ME" all the time does it?
Why can't it be about "someone ELSE" once in a while??"
Possibly even people we don't even know or will never meet.
I have a confession to make.
Please don't think I'm a "Holiday party pooper" but I must tell you this.
Commercialism GROSSES me out big time. I hate it.
Whew...okay I said it.
Are you still with me?
I struggle with this fact VERY much at Christmas time and Valentine's Day more than any other Holidays. Maybe it has something with the "giving of gifts???"
And the "needy" throughout the world who receive nothing.
Those who are just trying to survive day to day.
I'm not against the "giving of gifts."
What I am against is our motives for doing it.
Why must we feel so pressured at certain times?
I mean can't we give love and gifts......ALL the time. Or does it have to be on specific dates?
What if we missed "that date?"
I mean will we go to "Hades?"
I don't think so.
Don't get me wrong LOVE to give gifts. I love to GET gifts too. Who doesn't?
I am a "giver" have been all of my life. I don't know why I am so conflicted in my soul about these types of holidays.
IF OUR hearts are in it....for the good and not for the GUILT. Then I haven't an issue with that.
But if we give out of pressure.....and because we are "told to" by the various "Consumer Marketing Agencies"....then I struggle with it.
Maybe that is the rebel in me.
I am a writer.....
I love to send handwritten letters and cards to people.
I've bought and have also "hand made" cards all my life.
I keep a certain card store" in business........really, trust me on this one.
Hallmark estimates that "200 Million cards will be purchased" for this Valentines Day.
This doesn't include the little "cutesy cartoon" type cards that little kids give away in their classrooms.(the lady who started it all.....Esther Howland.")
What I DO like to see is the various "home made" gifts and CARDS that various ladies and gents....make, give and sell on their blog sites.
I appreciate all of their creativity and their time spent on doing this. I think it is so awesome and IF we were going to give cards and gifts....
I would rather it be this way.
"Home made and filled with special thoughts and love."
Yet I know we all are not all talented. I'm not. I do some things but I am by no means not an artist in that realm. I LOVE it when people are gifted in that way.... and I try to support them.
I do what I can and used to do crafts and such so much more than I do now...but so many others are so much more brilliant in their creating.
This year I came across some statistics that troubled me.
Let me share a few of them with you and maybe you will agree and maybe it's not just "me" that feels so strongly about these things.
~~~Valentine's Day Statics for 2009~~~
17 BILLION DOLLARS will be spent on buying Valentine Day gifts.I work retail and have for a long time.
I see the "other side" of people just grabbing something for the sake of having a gift. There's not thought....there's only pressure.
Look, I'm all about "stimulating the economy" although not through a stimulus package.
I myself like to support "small business and the various cottage industries" that are out there. I'm VERY passionate about keeping my money in my "neighborhood" shops and restaurants to help them stay alive.
I DO SEE first hand how people constantly push their selves into DEBT because of the hard sell of advertisers.
If we don't do this or that or have a certain BRAND of card or gift....then we are "failures."
~$1.1 Billion dollars will be spent on Chocolate.
I love me some Chocolate, but that is a bit absurd when people are starving in the world. Sadly.
~$540 Million dollars on flowers.....110 million ROSES will be sold.
If your a florist please don't hate me. I love your business. I can understand why you need to capitalize on this "moment."
Again I work in retail, and the store I work at must capitalize on this holiday.
I am a "flower person".....ask my family. I have always bought fresh flowers for our kitchen table. I've cut back a LOT on buying them this year due to the economy.
Hence my point....flowers die in a very short period of time and are generally costly. They smell wonderful....I want them...they add life to a room.
From time to time...we all need them to cheer us or someone else up.
Anymore for funerals.....my family TRIES to give money or donate to a person's "cause" rather than buy flowers.
Maybe even buy a "blooming plant" so that it will last longer.
Just a thought.
There is more I can say on this subject.....but my point is.......
"Can I invest my money into a wiser, longer living situation where more people than my self are benefited?"
The answer to that is YES.
I say we spend some of our money on someone who needs love.
Someone who can NEVER do anything to "give back to us."
That my friends is is true love.
This is just a "consideration" but if you feel like I do and you don't have any thoughts of how to change this "treadmill" we are on as a people....then watch this video and reconsider how much GOOD you can do during these holidays and other days as well.
Got any gift ideas for Valentine's Day? We do. from Angel Mission on Vimeo.
I made a decision this year to send the bulk of my "gift spending" money for all my kids and husband for Valentine's Day this direction.
You can find many various organizations that can benefit from your donations....just check them out and make sure they do what they say they do.
If you know of an important need that someone has....or another cause.....maybe in your neighborhood, or your distant family, or someone at work or church.
Give to them.
I DO have a box of chocolates for Miss Priss....she's been having a melt down because she and "Italian Boy" have broken up after a year of being best friends and dating.So she needs chocolate of course.
I have a card for my husband who I love very much.
After 30 years of marriage...I don't have to prove my love to him by gifts.
He loves me for me.
Don't think me "bitter" because I don't receive nice gifts or some thing like that. I have gotten MANY wonderful gifts through the years...so this isn't the issue.
And I can't take ANY of those gifts with me when I leave this planet one day.
Today I feel that my money, sent to a worthy and VALIDATED cause will have a longer, lasting impact than the box of chocolate.
Miss Priss will probably bite the ones she doesn't like and leave them in the box.
One thing I've learned......is that we American's "waste" all the time.
Hope you still love me now.