Rethinking Our Holidays | Andy Likes Things

The "Thanksgetting" campaign by Verizon is disheartening. For one, it is a poor play-on-words. It also epitomizes greed in today's world. Thanksgetting? Turning a word that represents things we should be thankful for on its head so you can sell a few more phones? I hope it backfires. This is a long-winded way of alluding to how I feel about consumerism now having stepped back for most of 2015.

Rethinking Our Holidays

This year, the Whisney and Johnson household aren't planning on doing much gift giving. We've never not given presents before. 

I grew up with plenty. I always had everything I ever wanted or needed. But as I look back on it, I realized how little of it I remember. I only remember some of my toys - the awesome ones, of course. We went on few vacations when I was younger but I seem to remember those more than what I kept in my toy boxes.

My brother and I sometimes talk about why we went on few family trips. Him and I have a large age difference. Trying to juggle two snot-nosed kids who have a six and a half year age difference may have been one of the reasons. Our parents demanding careers may have had more to do with it. My brother and I don't regret a thing about our childhoods. Sometimes it's interesting and inspiring to think back on where you came from and how you got to where you are.

So I think the childhood that I had, in a weird way, partly inspired me to become who I am today. I don't feel like I want much anymore. I don't find myself wishing I had something I didn't. Sure, I'm human, and sometimes I splurge. That is something to work on. I take a weird sense of pride in knowing I have total control over what I bring into my life - and you should too. It's calming knowing we can do that. So this year, don't make a Christmas list. You're most likely almost 30 anyways. If you do make a list, make it a list full of things you want to give rather than receive. It feels better to give, doesn't it?

Want = Don't Need

The word want isn't the word need. If you've read this far, you can tell those aren't the same words - it's obvious. So often though, and I'm guilty of this too, we can't tell the difference between what we want and need. 

For instance, I recently bought two pairs of shoes because they're dope. Did I need them? No - I had 12 other pairs I could wear instead. But I wanted these shoes because they looked cool. No one is perfect when it comes to wanting versus what they needing, and that's okay.

Cool shit is cool. Sometimes we just want more of it in our lives. Don't drowned in a sea of wants, though. Show restraint more often than not. Learn to break the twitch of splurging or buying something because you can. It's like a muscle - the more you use your ability to say "No", the stronger that muscle will become.

Just More Stuff

At the end of the holidays we just end up having more stuff. More stuff to clean. More stuff to organize. More stuff that takes up space - just more stuff.

If it's you're family tradition to receive presents - that's great! Keep up that tradition. This year, though, if you take one thing away from this article - give more than you receive. You know the feeling, and I'm sure you want to chase that feeling. It's something I'm going to try, and I'd love to hear if you've tried too.

So tell me - what are your family traditions over the holidays? Do they involve receiving a lot of presents, or do you focus more on the family aspect of them? Do you travel somewhere? I'd love to hear more.