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Christmas 2013…More STUFF? Or A Meaningful Experience?

Before we get too close to Christmas I thought it might be SMART to remind myself (and anyone else who is paying attention) to not get sucked into the holiday frenzy.   You know what I mean.  Ever since the beginning of September the retail outlets here in the U.S. have been pushing Santa and all things related.  Just like any drug, the pushers make everything seem so harmless, tantalizing and attractive. However, the truth is what makes the season special has very little to do with stuff, and everything to do with experience.  That’s why remembering why we do what we do and using our money, time and resources in the service of that which we say we support, is especially critical this time of year.

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And make no mistake—this time of year it doesn’t matter what religion you practice, if at all.   In fact, the only God most retailers are pushing this season is the almighty dollar, or the supreme euro, or—you get the idea.   In fact, after reading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg I now have plenty of evidence that all big retailers are doing everything they can to convince us to spend our money regardless of whether it is good for us or fits our values.  Instead we must constantly remember that they are using our habits to convince us that buying things is the solution to our happiness and wellbeing.  And Christmas is just a very convenient holiday to help them accomplish that.

A great example was the chapter in The Power of Habit written about Target Stores and how they “target” expectant mothers to buy their products.  With the information they are able to gather on us, a big retailer like Target can track our purchases.  Using information from our credit cards purchases, our store customer cards, and online information resources like Facebook and Amazon, they do it constantly.  Big retailers know what we like and what we buy, often more than we do.

Continue reading this post on Kathy Gottberg’s blog, Smart Living 365 

Kathy Gottberg

Kathy Gottberg has been writing on all sorts of topics for over 25 years with three published books and hundreds of articles. But her passion today is exploring ideas and experiences that help to create a meaningful, sustainable, compassionate and rewarding life for herself and others. Beyond that, she lives with Thom, her best friend and soul mate of 36 years, along with their fur-baby Kloe in La Quinta, CA. Instagram: gottgreen

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