Consumers planned holiday-related spending increased to $923.36” in 2007. Gift card spending alone was 24 billion dollars last year while the national spending average rises about 4.76% year after year.
The money that gets tossed around on Christmas is staggering. Debt keeps us paying for Christmas well into the New Year. Gifts are often relegated to impersonal gift cards, because we don’t know what else to buy. We keep on buying though. Stress and frantic running are hallmarks of the season. Sometimes you can’t wait until it’s all over, so you can rest and recover.
I often wonder if we don’t spend ourselves into a frenzy to cover over our lack for the deeper things in life. Do we buy more to cover the lack of depth in our relationships with friends, children, and spouses? Do we spend enough time telling and showing people how valuable they are the rest of the year or are we trying to recover from a deficit with gifts? Maybe we don’t feel like the holidays have much meaning, so we buy to try to imbue the holidays with meaning through consumerism. I am not saying all or any of this is true, but I think it might be worth asking the questions.
Does it have to be this way? For those that want something more, what can we do?