Each holiday season, Americans are completely bombarded with advertising and sales promotions for millions of products. Toy commercials entice our children to beg for dolls and trains. Late-night infomercials convince us we need complete storage systems to hide away our extra belongings. In-store displays prompt last-minute purchases. And, in the frenzy of the holidays, the lists and the parties, we are often caught up by commercialism more than celebration.
It is a somewhat sad commentary on our society that we must constantly be reminded of the reason behind the season. However, this year’s economic crisis affords us a new opportunity to make changes in some of our holiday traditions. Our family, for example, has decided to forgo paper Christmas cards. We’ve gathered everyone’s email addresses, and have agreed that we will all use free e-cards from gotfreecards.com. This one step will save us the cost of the Christmas cards, as well as the astronomical cost of postage. E-cards also save precious storage space. After all, what are you supposed to do with a hundred Christmas cards? We also decided that this year, the youngsters will receive the bulk of the gifts. The adults will exchange only small tokens and stocking stuffers. It feels good to pull away from the frenzied spending habits of Christmases past. Instead of worrying how we’ll afford all those presents, we’re planning on enjoying the time we spend with one another. Happy Holidays!