One of my connections recently wrote an article about how the consumerist attitude toward holidays bothered them. I’m in full agreement. People have lost sight of what the holidays are supposed to mean. Rather than spending time with the people they’re supposed to love, they buy some sparkly or expensive thing and call it a day. It’s a sad, cold way to be. It makes me think of one Valentine’s Day some years back.
I was dating a guy, and I was living at his place with his parents. Valentine’s day came along. I can’t remember what MK’s husband bought her that year, what I do remember is that it wasn’t the usual piece of diamond jewelry. She went into a fit of tears. “Do you want a divorce?” she wailed. “Don’t you love me anymore? Should I just move out so you can be happy?” Her nasal voice cracked with sobs.
MK had come to associate expensive jewelry with love. She expected that each passing year should bring a more expensive bauble. Anything less somehow meant that BK didn’t love her. I was stunned. How could anyone think like that? How could anyone associate money and love? It made me so sad. I felt bad for BK, and just sad for MK. How broken must she be to feel that he didn’t love her anymore and talk about divorce over something so trivial.
Here’s the other thing, they were over $50,000 in debt at the time. She had a credit card for every store that would give her one and she was always buying more than they really needed. Buying her a bigger diamond would have put them further into debt, but she didn’t care. To her, money and stuff equaled happiness and love. It made me painfully aware of just how broken people can become.
I’ve never allowed myself to think like that. I’m happy as anything to get hand-picked flowers (I seriously dislike store-bought flowers), or a dollar store mug filled with my favorite candy. I think having hubby run me a scented bath with candles or take over my chores shows a lot of love. Even if we had loads of money, I wouldn’t need or want frivolous items. Stuff is not love. Love is love. There’s a huge difference.
People need to start thinking and pull themselves away from the materialism. Do things to show your love. Spend less money and more time. Remember what the people you love enjoy and bring that into their lives. remembering a favorite flower or food or pampering someone for a day means a lot more than a new TV or a diamond necklace.