Last year about this time I blogged about consumerism and Christmas. So here I go again. I don’t want to be a party dampener or a grouch but already I can feel the hype in the air, the frantic emotional space that people gravitate toward and the purchasing frenzy that accompanies it. But, what actually has me nonplussed is the massive amount of spending on frivolous or excessive items.
For instance, yesterday in a large department store I watched people moving along the isles with their arms laden with festive items. You know the like, roles of wrapping paper, tinsel and Christmas tree decorations. Then I noticed that one doesn’t buy two or three Christmas tree baubles anymore, oh no, they come in plastic cylinders of at least twenty glittering, decorated beauties! Once again this made me think about how many decorations are bought and sold each year.
Why does someone require twenty plus large, albeit colourful and sparking baubles? How does one lone Christmas tree hold up this splendid and glitzy display of adornment? And, where on earth, after the big day ends, are these wonderful trimmings stored for the other eleven months of the year? I stopped myself from thinking that perhaps they are thrown out in the rubbish… No, that thought was far too extreme and mean. After all, who would throw out once used items only to buy them all over again next year?
Today I checked my own decoration box, it goes back at least forty years. The tree angel is a bit battered and her head wobbles but she is ever so sweet and familiar. I have to admit to adding a few coils of tinsel over the years and perhaps a quaint and unusual decoration but mainly the box if full of pieces collected along the way. In fact the older the decorations are the more precious they appear to me.
Each year about this time I hang out three special baubles (amongst other favourites) made by my sons and I. They are sequin covered styrene balls with ribbon loops. I remember, we sat for hours pushing pins through coloured sequins and small beads to cover those white balls. They have pride of place on the tree each year and I have a trip down memory lane. My sons are now forty and thirty-six, they were probably about eight and four years old when we made those special decorations…