“Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice.” — Dave Barry
I ran into this quote a long time ago – it’s still on point. My father-in-law always said Christmas is for kids – he was talking about Santa gifts for kids. I was in my 20s and 30s at the time and thought he just didn’t want to spend money. Now that I see life from a different vantage point, I think he was right.
Most of us don’t really need anything. We live in an over the top materialistic society. We tend to buy what we want when we want it. That creates a big problem. When it comes time to buy gifts for each other, we don’t know what to buy. Some of us don’t even know what we want someone to buy us. Hence the gift card phenomenon.
These statistics are from GiftCards.com: Over $100 Billion is spent on gift cards annually; 93% of consumers purchase or receive gift cards; 72% of consumers will spend more than the value of the gift card they are redeeming. I could go on, but you get the idea. Retailers are smart. Since we have so much stuff we don’t even know what we want or what to buy someone else, gift cards were born.
I don’t know what to buy you, so I buy you a gift card. You don’t know what to buy me, so you buy me a gift card. Does that make any sense at all? Have we all totally lost it?
And, it would appear that most of us don’t have the money to buy those gift cards. Here are some 2012 statistics from statisticbrain.com: Total U.S. credit card debt $793.1 Billion; average credit card debt per household $15,799.
We have all forgotten that the greatest gifts are not things. The most precious gift we can give each other is our time. Real time together doing what the other enjoys – a true gift. Might cost a little money, but doesn’t have to cost anything. A quiet evening together – a long lunch during the holidays – or, a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Not party time. One on one, loving, caring time. I see you and you see me. Soul time.