Happy Consumerist Friday, known as Black Friday to most! Black Friday is a day that I proudly do not like to participate in. Most people start their holiday shopping on Black Friday, whereas I do not to participate in holiday shopping at all. As a general rule, I don’t do gifts. I don’t give them and I don’t request them.
About 10 years ago I woke up one day and decided that gifts don’t make me happy. I don’t remember exactly what was going on in my life, or if it was around the holidays, but I do remember how strongly I felt. I was never a good gift-giver. I was always that person who struggled with what to get people. I didn’t get the warm fuzzies when I found the perfect gift, I felt bad for the environment when I wrapped my presents with wasteful papers/bows/ribbons, and then I found myself reluctantly giving and receiving these gifts. Gifts didn’t mean anything to me. It felt like this ritual you were “supposed” to do and I hated it. I had hit a breaking point. NO MORE GIFTS! I felt that I could no longer give gifts in good conscience. It felt against everything that I believe in.
I sent a mass email to everyone I knew and I let them know how I felt. I let them know that I would no longer be accepting or giving gifts. I felt that this would be easier than dealing with it on a case by case or holiday by holiday basis. Tell everyone in one clean swoop, and hope for the best! The great thing is that I got no backlash. I got many messages back of love and support for my declaration. A lot of people agreed with me and felt the same way, but they said they didn’t feel they could make the same declaration. Maybe friends/family wouldn’t understand and would judge them. Or maybe there were kids in the family who they didn’t want to disappoint.
Sometimes I do give gifts. It makes me think of one of my favorite quotes: Don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything. A gift might happen here or there if I find something great….and I am ok with that. I still buy presents for weddings, baby showers, and wedding showers. Those are usually useful things that are needed in a home. Aside from those occasions, if I feel the need to give a gift, I have a few things that work within my moral and ethical beliefs. I’ll give an experience OR something that can be consumed. This can mean a vacation, a trip to the theatre, or a nice dinner. Also, wine and spirits are a GREAT gift for someone who likes to drink. It is something they can enjoy and can think of you when they open the bottle. With these types of “gifts”, it’s all about the memories. A sort of mental “consumption” with the memories living in your head and in stories you tell versus wasteful consumerist consumption with the wrapping paper/ribbons/bows living in the landfill and the actual gift-getting thrown away one day as well.
There you have it. Let’s face it, A LOT of Americans spend a lot of time complaining about the holiday season. They complain how busy they are, they complain they have too many parties to go to, and they complain that they have SO much holiday shopping to do. I can’t remember the last time I complained about the holiday season. It’s one of my most favorite times of the year. It gets cold(ish) for us Californians, there’s tons of opportunities to eat great food and drink good booze, and there are endless opportunities to spend time with the people we love. How great is that!
Next time you find yourself dreading a trip to the overcrowded mall to pick up a gift, take a breath, and think about taking a bottle of bubbly to that person instead. Bubbly relieves stress….not causes it. Have a look at this festive bottle of Chloe Prosecco. An elegant bottle and fun, lively juice inside!
Chloe Prosecco DOC SRP $16.99
Winery Notes: This wine is bursting with fresh fruit and fine bubbles, with notes of peach, green apple, citrus, and white flowers on the nose and palate. It is light straw in color with greenish hues. Opulent yet balances with elegant acidity, this wine offers a crisp finish with a hint of minerality, revealing the proximity to the mountains and calcareous soils where the grapes are grown.
Disclaimer: I received this sample for review