Thursday, December 13, 2012

Spirit-Led Self-Gifting

There are so many reasons to love the holidays.  Families and loved-ones coming together, peace on earth, good will toward men, self-gifting…self-gifting?

I’m not sure how I missed it before but the phrase “self-gifting” is new to me.  Just the phrase, mind you – NOT the concept.  As a child, I watched as my dad would hand new but deeply discounted ratchet sets that he purchased from Sears to my mother and say:

“Hey Catholic, will you wrap this up and put it under the tree for me?  It’s from Santa.” 

As I think about it, he may be considered an early pioneer in this self-gifting phenomenon.

That was the 70’s.  In 2012, giving to your own self is actually predicted to supersede giving to others around the holidays.  The U.S. National Retail Foundation’s annual holiday consumer spending survey cited that consumers are expected to spend the most on non-gift, I mean “self-gift” items for the first time in the survey’s 10-year history. 

One for you and one, two, three for me!!!

Isn’t there supposed to be something wrong with that?  Isn’t it supposed to be better to give than to receive?  Or is it possible that it is actually better to self-give, then give-give just a little bit less?      

A 1990 article in the Journal of Consumer Research explored the concept.  Among their findings:  “…self-gifts are a form of personally symbolic self-communication through special indulgences that tend to be premeditated and highly context bound.”

If I may venture a translation on behalf of some of my fellow Americans filling their own stockings this holiday season:

 “highly context bound” = I got a job.

“premeditated” = After not having one for a while.

“personally symbolic self-communication through special indulgence” = Every time I wear this blouse, swing this golf club, rev this car engine, watch this TV, sit on this couch or open this ratchet set, I will be reminded of what I have overcome.

A different kind of spirit led giving...but spirit led, none the less.

25% off a 58PC Craftsman Universal Ratchet Set available at Sears now.
Not a "hell of a deal" by some  people's standards but a discount, nonetheless.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Will the real St. Nick please stand up?

December is here!  I love this month! 

My husband says this month makes people crazy, makes everyone move faster and try to do more and that's how things get screwed up. 

I feel just the opposite.  This year I do, anyway.  

I feel like if I stop and I listen very closely, there is a stillness around me. 

Maybe it's because the election is over.  Maybe it's because recent consumer reports are smiling.  Maybe it's because we haven't heard tale of a natural disaster on U.S. soil for a month.

Maybe it's because I saw an interview with Warren Buffet  earlier this week and again he said everything was going to be ok.  And whenever ol' Uncle Warren says everything is going to be ok, I can't help but believe it.

Maybe this stillness around me is just the sound of everyone else caught up in their own shit. 

Or the sound of everyone collectively inhaling and exhaling deeply, for the first time in a long time.

I hope that's what it is.

And I hope for a moment we can all just be glad in it.  All of it.

Looks pretty jolly to me!