Monday, November 29, 2010

Shopping for a Soul…

I find it interesting and disturbing how some people are obsessed with shopping for stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I like stuff but what is the real joy of the Christmas season that starts Thanksgiving weekend? It is a question I keep asking myself and I keep coming back to counting my blessings for my health, the health of my family, and my circumstances that I have spent a lifetime creating.

Over the past couple of years, Americans have paid down $150 billion in debt. This is a really good thing for individuals but problematic for an economy driven by retail sales. I believe we are in a re-adjustment period regarding spending habits. I don’t believe we are going to see the next generation with a closet full of shoes. I believe the next generation has all the stuff they need and more. Most of that stuff has been given to them by well intentioned parents. Even though as parents we may feel good about being able to give our kids a “comfortable” life, the kids are finding stuff “empty.”

Again, don’t get me wrong, they appreciate the stuff and the comforts of life but just like us, the next generation will find their own way to define themselves. I am not sure the trend is apparent yet, but I believe they will be more likely to want a simpler life, whatever that means. They see their parents working their tails off and living a very hectic life. I think they are going to search for more rewarding careers and be more community focused. Just look at all of the communities they already subscribe to on the internet.

I only hope they get off the internet and get into live forums where they can engage in real human activity. I think they are doing some of that but I think the internet and texting is stealing some of the childhood memories that normally come from exploring a park, hiking, or playing games on the streets of our cities and towns.

If you ask teens what they want for Christmas many of them are not sure because they already have too much. It seems to me the best gift we can give them is a family vacation, a personal note of why we love them, or simply our time. I am not sure that waiting in a “Black Friday” line to buy more stuff is going to be an activity future generations will be taking part in. We can only hope that the “stuff” life is made of will again take precedence in our next generation. Hugs anyone?

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