Hmmm...haven't noticed. Just kidding.
Because Dennis is working part-time now and my hours have scaled back (in a plan hatched long ago to complement his now non-existent retail holiday hours, but currently I can't change--store rules), we're cutting back a lot on our holiday spending. And we usually don't spend very much.
It's strange not to be out there in the shops, trying to work up a gift list strategy for the family and close friends. Some things I've already done, and made a deal with my sister of coffee in exchange for my share in our group gift for Dad (ssh, don't tell him). But this strange feeling of being out of the cultural loop is showing me how I've been too distracted with consumerism. Perhaps distracted from Christ during this time of celebrating His incarnation (nope, he wasn't born in December, folks).
I did make a contribution of toys for our store's family we adopted for the holidays through another charitable organization. As I was standing in the checkout lane, lots of moms were eyeing and asking about them. I had found the last Bratz Funky Makeover in the universe, and the price showed it. I didn't know what Bratz or a Funky Makeover was, but I got one for the eight year old girl who specified it on her wish list. I figured that if Santa came through for me when I was eight, I would want to make sure he did for this little girl, too. I don't know what the ramifications of that would be in terms of materialism, or the message sent about it. I figured if I found what she wanted, (and this late in the year it would be a miracle) I would get it. Other people did get the more practical and worthy stuff--clothes, books, art supplies, coats, etc... so they would already have an amazing Santa visit. But toys are important, too. Since I always had them as a kid, I would figure that they would be just as important to kids who didn't always have what they asked for or who might not in the future. If not more.
It's okay to desire something. Sometimes we get it. Sometimes we don't. But it is great when you do.
I read today's post about consumerism. It's about the Church of Stop Shopping and a movie coming out about them called "What Would Jesus Buy?". If you have a moment in your busy day, it is worth thinking about. I've got a link here.