Monday, 26 January 2015

O is for Objects.....

In January we have three birthdays in the family and that comes just after Christmas. They are the occasions for giving gifts which is all well and good, but the problem I find is what to give? We all have so much stuff.
We are the priviliged ones living in one of the richest, most peaceful countries in the world. That means that we, adults and children, have EVERYTHING (material goods, that is). Coming up to Christmas I was asked what I wanted for Christmas and I couldn't come up with a thing. "Buy me something I can eat, drink or burn," I said. There was not a single thing I needed and if I need something I go out and buy it. The same goes for children and other family members.
This week, as I was prepairing for birthday number two of the month, I caught myself walking around a shopping centre trying to find something to give to an eight year old for her birthday and it was a real struggle to come up with something meaningful (or not so meanigful for that matter) that she doesn't already have. There are so many silly things you can buy to children. How many fury, battery driven creatures that can eat, sleep, snore, talk, walk, change colour and heaven knows what else they can do, does she need?  How many barbiedolls or paymobile figure, and whatever else?None, I guess.
I came home and strated to look around. We have so many things! Clutter!
I am really happy that I have this huge privilige of being born and raised in a wealthy country at the top of the world that nobody cares much about. A hundred years ago the situation was completely different, but I just wonder as we "wallow in our wealth": Where will it end and have we lost something on our way?


  1. I find exactly the same thing and have the same mixed feelings. I really don't want to give something gratuitous to my granddaughters -- i.e. something that I'm only getting because it's a "gift occasion," something I know is extraneous, almost surely destined to landfill . . . I feel good about giving books or basic art material or, if I can, the promise of time together doing an activity we both love. Or something I know is already on her parents' shopping list: a new coat or shoes or whatever. . . I love the childhood sense of feeling special on a birthday, but I don't want to model a kind of consumerism I don't agree with. Tough, isn't it?!

    1. Really tough! I also don't want to take the joy out of these gift giving occasions. I like the idea of time together/activities. I am just afraid of doing it before they are old enough to understand and end up with a disappointment.