Oct 24, 2018 Creating more with less money for the Holidays
Alexandra is in town for a few weeks and we are showing her all the cliches that America has to offer. One thing she wanted to experience is an Outlet Mall. An Outlet Mall is where manufacturers (mostly clothing) sell their products at a reduced price. Honestly, she was far more impressed with America’s customer service than the prices at the Outlets. When a sales person offered to take my clothes and open a dressing room for me (standard practice) Alexandra’s jaw literally almost hit the floor. We ended our day skipping and dancing back to the car completely jazzed about all the great deals we got! This burst of post consumer happiness got me thinking though . . .
We are all consumers. We like to acquire and consume goods. Why? because it makes us feel good! Duh. But why does it make us feel good? It gives us something wonderful called a dopamine dump. What is Dopamine? It’s your brains ‘reward juice’. When you score a sweet deal shopping it feels good so your brain releases ‘reward juice’ into our bodies and suddenly we fall into a never ending formula of Work Hard >Get Paid>- Buy Stuff>Feel Good>Repeat. Dopamine also rushes in with exercise, a diet high in antioxidants and lots of sleep.
From our extensive travels I am always asked the exact same 3 questions on repeat
- What was my favorite place?
- What’s it like being back home?
- What souvenirs did I buy?
We made a very intentional effort to not buy and consume a lot of items while traveling. We each had our single suitcase that couldn’t exceed 20 Kilos and that was it. With limited space we had to be very intentional about anything we purchased. If I wanted something I had to be very clear on my why. I feel like this minimal purcahse practice has carried over into life at home too. While shopping with Alexandra I saw the start of the holidays on display and now I’m puzzling
How can I make the holidays EASY and memorable with less consumption
I normally justify purchases by “what a good deal I get on them.” Now I find myself asking is this item going to broaden my child’s view of what is true, good, and beautiful? Will it lead them to an appreciation of God’s world? Will it help them create, or will it drive them toward more consumption?
With Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Kwanza, and Christmas coming up what traditions can I create that don’t involve merchandise? I believe you can buy happiness . . . in experiences, fundraising, or learning a new skill and I’m wanting to tap into other meaningful ways. How do you create more meaning with less money for the Holidays?