Yesterday on the most special day, Christmas Day, from Amazon telling me about their Boxing Day offers on Christmas day. It made me cross, in fact I love Amazon and because of living here have no choice but to use them for lots of things but at that point I was ready to boycott them I was so annoyed. How can you have Boxing Day offers on Christmas Day?
Then advert after advert, every news broadcast, every internet page opens up to The Big Sale… come and buy, come and spend, offers, offers, save money, grab a bargain.
Living here makes you so aware of how greedy and materialistic we are in the UK. We don’t have tv or toy shops so we don’t have adverts here in Albania and so my kids don’t say I want this I want that. I don’t have the pressure of what their friends might have and having to buy to make sure they aren’t disappointed. Their friends don’t have. Really. If they are lucky they have one small toy car or a stuffed animal. I’m not trying to make your heart bleed I’m trying to say these kids survive and are actually really happy and they don’t have.
So the whole boxing day buy buy buy makes me angry. The idea behind Boxing Day was for landowners and the more affluent to give gift boxes to their servants or to take a box of food out to the poor. It wasn’t about filling your house with more it was about saying thank you to someone who had done something for you or to help someone who needed it. Now there are pictures as embarrassing as the US’s Black Friday sales, people fighting, arguing, stressed, queing up all night. What for? For a bargain, for something on offer. Except I wonder if they really needed it, as far as I can see if you don’t need it and you could live with out it and so you wouldn’t buy it because you needed it you aren’t saving money you are spending money on more stuff. I love a bargain so don’t get me wrong, when you get a discount on something you were hoping for or going to get that is awesome but we get tricked into needing what we want and then thinking we got a bargain buying something we didn’t really want in the first place.
There is such a huge pressure for people to spend more, put it on the plastic and for many people right now they don’t have it. They don’t have enough for food for next week, they don’t know how they’ll pay off that credit card, that mortgage, the car payment, whatever.
I just thought it would be cool to get back to the real Boxing Day and go shopping grab yourself a bargain but whilst you are there what about getting something to give to a foodbank? That jumper will look great on you but imagine the delight it would make to someone who is living without using their heating because they can’t afford it. That toy will be such fun for your kids but remember what they got yesterday and imagine the delight on a child’s face if they got that as a gift after Christmas to make up for the fact they got nothing this year. Oh yes a bargain on the food aisle, but as your stomach is still feeling stretched after yesterday imagine the delight for a family who have some food next week, a treat pack of biscuits, a tin of sweets that had been looked at in the store but out of their price range.
I believe that as good a feeling as a bargain is, a bargain bought and gifted to someone else will be way more exciting, thrilling and fulfilling.
(by the way I don’t work for these but I know http://www.kirkbystorehouse.co.uk/ for people in Kirkby in Ashfield and http://www.arenachurch.co.uk/community/arena-community-centre/foodbank/ for Ilkeston area are doing amazing work and would be so grateful for any donations)