Today is Black Friday that will be followed by Cyber Monday and God only knows how many other days will be assigned to drive people toward more and more and more clutter in their lives.
But I’m not out on Black Friday. Basically because my budget won’t allow it. There is something else that my budget won’t allow it either, more clutter. I am trying to minimalize. I would hope that other people would try to minimalize as well.
If a person seriously wants to give and appreciated gift during the holiday season, think of things that are useful, that do not create more clutter. For instance, why not give the gift of a magazine subscription of their favorite magazine or periodical? In order to reduce clutter, how about sending the electronic version? It can be saved forever digitally, it can be read at their leisure, and it is not causing any more clutter around the house or at the landfill. Help them by creating electronic documents that won’t have to be more paper to be dealt with at a later time? Same goes for newspapers. Buy a year subscription to the local newspaper for a friend but make it the electronic version. Everybody wins. If your friend or relative has the yard pay for one month yard upkeep with a local landscaping company. Your friend will get a month off, a local business will be getting a new customer, and guess what no clutter.
I have a sister who brings me a care package every year for Christmas. It is usually a laundry basket filled with cleaning supplies and other necessities that will be used over the course of the following year. This is an extremely important aid for me during the year when my grocery budget is strapped. I do not have to buy cleaning supplies laundry detergent or other personal items.
I think that all of the people who work in retail that are hoping that people will come in on Black Friday. They need retail business in order to survive. But we can limit what we purchase for people and still try to support our local retailers. If you want to give a gift that will support a local retailer, buy a gift card. I’ve been lambasted for buying gift cards in the past. The people say it’s not personal enough. My reply is that it will save that person plenty of time standing the return line the day after Christmas. Buying restaurant gift cards (local if possible) is a wonderful gift to give. Families might be able to stop and have a nice lunch or supper out that they may not have normally been able to have.
Or simply make a pact with people to exchange cards. Ask them not to create more credit card debt to haunt them the next year. Ask that those people put whatever they were going to set aside to spend for Christmas in a college fund for their children or retirement fund for themselves. If they have not set up a college fund or retirement fund this is the great time of year to start so it can hit the current year’s tax season. It isn’t taking the cheap way out. It isn’t being a cheapskate. It isn’t being disrespectful to Christmas or what Christmas means. It is helping people to understand that less is more, to be thankful for what they already have, or be thankful for a visit from the people they love. Seeing the people rather than an armload of gifts that were bought with love but will end up as more clutter in the following year.
Just think about it. That’s all I’m asking.