Friday, February 13, 2009

Do I Want Valentine's Day Presents?

Well, of course I do...I am human.
And Female.

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 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 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 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 that we American's "waste" all the time.

Hope you still love me now.



marilyn said...

I couldn't have said it better myself, kudos
to you for posting this. Also very sure that
everyone who reads it will still love you


Denise said...

Oh how true........ We have stopped the Christmas thing a couple of years ago and we do not buy each other "things" Today we made a decision to give my tithes from my little shop to a Missionary Friend of mine in India....... He is a beautiful person and working among his people to tell them of Christ.. So we have opened a Paypal account just to give him money for things that he needs... ...... I do not tell you that for me to gain any praise it is just that it is time that the American Christian begin to give out of our abundance..... There is coming a day soon that there will be no abundance..... I believe in the scripture,

Give and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom, For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again…. MOTIVE…….. it is everything……….

My bosom is fine, I need to give unto others!

Sara said...

You earned brownie points with my hubby with this post! He refuses to celebrate Valentine's Day because it's so commercialized. I'm shocked at how many people we know that spend a fortune on flowers, jewelry, movies for the kids, etc. I buy one small box of chocolate covered strawberries for us to share, buy or make a card for the kids and that's it. We prefer to show our love every day in other ways.

SueLovesCherries said...

I still love you!!! Great article. Me and dh don't usually buy for each other - I like to get the discounted chocolate the day after! But I always get my two girls a little something.

Julie said...

We really haven't celebrated Valentine's Day since our daughter went off to college. My husband hates Valentine's Day - he says it's all one big ploy by the greeting card companies, the florists and the chocolate makers. I do agree.

He has shown his love for me this winter by warming up my car every cold morning, and getting me a walker and helping in so many ways since I hurt my knee. Love ya, Dan!

And love ya, Joyce

Susie from Bienvenue said...

I get ya! I feel the same about this holiday. My sweet husband brought home the movie Fireproof and we watched that. A must see movie I might add. I feel it has made me love and repect him all the more. He also bought me a box of calgon and some circus peanuts...oh and one rose. This girl couldn't ask for more. Thank you for the two sweet cards. What a dear friend I have in you. Im blessed~

Bernideen said...

Wow that was one long blog. Lots of food for thought. I have a tea event at my store today which means I baked ALL day yesterday and this morning finished. It is alot of work....but I absolutely love doing it for customers....two little girls came with a customer. They were dirty and unkempt. One pulled out a valentine for me she had colored. I was deeply touched.My husband and I haven't exchanged for years. We are so happy to have food and shelter. Our country may be getting ready for a real reality check about what is important in life.

The Urban Chic said...

Joyce, what a beautiful Valentine gift. This is the first year in a long time that Al has bought me chocolates. Like you, we think it's gone crazy, especially with the economy. Your post was super and you gave me food for thought. We lost our "foster" child in Rwanda when the village was attacked and even the priest doesn't know what happened to little Jane. You did give me an idea for Easter though and since the relays for life are all starting, I think I will work on that. I still love you, because your honesty was very touching. God Bless you, Love and hugs, Pat

Teresa @ Southern Touch Catering said...

Wow, You go girl. In the town that we live in I was shocked our first year here. In ELEMENTARY school the girls were all sent HUGE bouquets of flowers along with boxes of chocolates and my girls received nothing. What a bad day for them. I was so mad, we don't have money like those other people, plus I found it to be a little obnoxious. It is such a pity to have each parent trying to out do the other ones. It leaves some children as well as their parents feeling so bad. My girls just couldn't understand why they didn't get anything. I am all for giving to our children, but at home, NOT at school. It is ridiculous!

KJ said...

Well, I'm here and I'm doing a great deal of catching up. I do share your sentiments on this topic. Over the years, maturing in the Lord has sort of placed a "healthy" damper on things I used to celebrate with gusto.

I have a tendency to feel 2 emotions at once. I will be celebrating a victory over my favorite team winning a football or baseball game. Then the camera pans to the faces of the defeated players. Aaaaah! I begin to feel bad that they lost and my celebrating is sliced in half.

You may wonder what this has to do with holidays and commercialism. Well, it has to do with God's heart. The closer we become to Him, the more we begin to peek through His eyes and perspective. We see the human tendency to get carried away and shift priorities. As in the sports analogy, we are always aware that there is always God's perspective.

Barry and I don't go out on Valentine's Day. We try to find another day to do it. And, I don't go hog wild buying things.

Good stuff! KJ