Sorry about this guys. I’m not Mr. Groovy today. I’m Mr. Curmudgeon. I want you to boycott “Holiday” spending. Here’s why.
Mindful spending is about spending wisely. If you’re behind on the retirement preparation front, have loads of credit card debt, and live paycheck to paycheck, you shouldn’t be buying things you don’t need. And if you do have your fiscal house in order, you still shouldn’t be buying things you don’t need. You already have enough stuff. More stuff isn’t going to make you happier.
Mindful spending is also about respect. There are a multitude of vendors out there hawking stuff. And there’s no law saying you have to patronize the ones who figuratively spit on you. That’s the beauty of freedom. Vendors are free to treat potential customers with disdain, and potential customers are free to shun rude vendors. So unless you have no self-respect, you should only buy the things you need from vendors who respect you.
“Holiday” shopping fails both of my mindful spending rules. You don’t need to buy Christmas gifts. Jesus didn’t die on the cross so people could camp-out at Best Buy on Black Friday eve. And why is Big Retail so intent on ignoring Jesus during December? Is the end-of-the-year spike in shopping activity being driven by non-Christians? Would it kill Big Retail to show Christians a little appreciation? Call me a cynic, but I can’t fathom a Macy’s in Saudi Arabia instructing its clerks not to wish Ramadan shoppers a “Happy Ramadan.”
Here’s the bottom line: Big Retail is uncomfortable saying “Merry Christmas” to Christmas shoppers and including Jesus in its December promotional campaigns, not because it might be offensive to non-Christians, but because it’s definitely offensive to Big Retail. And that’s okay. Big Retail doesn’t have to like Christians.
But Big Retail wants the money of Bible-thumping Jesus freaks. And that’s why we get the “Happy Holidays” crap. It’s a compromise Big Retail can live with.
But can you live with it?
Here’s an idea. Celebrate Christmas the Jesus way, not the consumerist way. Get together with family and friends. Read the Bible. Be charitable. Take the money you designated for Christmas gifts and give it instead to Wounded Warriors or a local food bank. Remember, Jesus was all about loving thy neighbor. He wasn’t about buying a lot of unnecessary stuff from vendors who loathe you.