Thanksgiving week is interesting because one minute you’re feeling thankful and blessed for all you have, and the next minute Black Friday strikes with everyone wanting more and more and more. For me, shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving is like going to a funeral the day after a wedding.
What a buzz kill.
The fact that a 34-year-old Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death last year at 5am by a bunch of shoppers just makes me sick. Why is our society so crazed for stuff? I have the answer. It’s simple and really sad.
Stuff makes people happy.
(At least that’s what our actions are saying.)
It’s easy to fall into this trap. It’s a cycle: You get something new that you’ve pined over for a while. You enjoy having it. Inevitably, the happiness starts to fade. (Heck, even the new car smell eventually goes away!) Then it’s time to move to the next big thing.
Now, don’t take me for an extremist; I have lots of “stuff” too. I’m just asking the question…why? Is it necessary? I was inspired by an anonymous quote I saw the other day. It said, “All we have is all we need.”
Wouldn’t life be infinitely more rich if we all truly lived with that mentality? Instead of spending your energy longing after material sources of fleeting happiness, you’d actually experience true joy that comes when you’re living in the moment, loving what you’ve been given, and savoring the moments with those you love.
Am I selling a life of “sunshine, lollipops and rainbows?” Maybe. But that true happiness I’m referring to is available. And it has nothing to do with more stuff. It’s found in its purest form in the little child who receives a fancy gift for her birthday and chooses to play endlessly with the box instead.
To me, the cardboard box represents the simple things in our life that bring real, lasting happiness. They might not be new or fancy or expensive or electronic (or even tangible.) They’re classic. Timeless. Priceless.
What is YOUR cardboard box?
Great post…I agree with you about all the “stuff” out there. Most of the time, we’re reaching for something outside of us to make us happy. Heck, I experienced this today as I walked around the Apple store in Chicago. But I know, as much as I’d love to have everything in that store, you’re right that newness wears out and we soon want something else…something more. My cardboard box would have to be cooking (among other things). Its something we need to do every day and if we approach it with an attitude of fun…it can be a memorable experience. Thanks for keeping us young and have a great Thanksgiving!
Thanks for sharing about your cardboard box. What a great perspective to have on cooking. To be honest, I usually dread it. I’m not that confident in the kitchen and so I don’t have as much fun as I should – but it’s all in my attitude. Thanks for reminding me that it’s up to me. Go Mac! :)
My cardboard box is experiences.
I wonder how much of the “stuff” we buy is an attempt to fulfill a deeper need – the need for love?? (and of course, “stuff” can’t do that…not long term)
Experiences! Very cool! Experiences bring memories that are treasured forever. Boy, money sure can’t buy that. Great question about the attempts to fill the need for love with stuff. I think you hit the nail on the head. Awesome insight. In light of that, maybe we should try to love those people a little more in our lives who tend to attract themselves to stuff. Something tells me we’d be helping them fill a need they are unknowingly seeking. Thanks for sharing!!
I agree with you completely Kim. I think the shopping madness of the holidays is insane. I boycott Black Friday most years and hang out at home! I have friends that got up at all hours to shop and I simply don’t understand it. I guess it was to save a few bucks on something they were going to buy anyway. My cardboard box is spending time with the people I care about and reading a good book from the library! :)
You and I sure see eye to eye on the Black Friday debate! No thank you. A few bucks is not worth the headaches. I love your “cardboard boxes.” Don’t you love the smell of library books, btw? Hope the holidays bring many more opportunities for you to spend precious time with the people you love!
Great Quote! “All we have is all we need!”
I agree – I would much rather stay home with my kids and play a game than go shopping! Black Friday was “me day” this year. I read a book from cover to cover. :-) My daughter designed some barbie clothes out of an old skirt that didn’t fit – she even painted her cardboard box ;-)
It’s really funny how much fun we have had with cardboard boxes through the years!! The best was when we had a refrigerator box and rolled down our hill – over & over. :-)
YAY- for taking back Black Friday for yourself! Good for you, Sarah! What a great alternative to running around shopping till you drop. I have fond memories of rolling down hills. Boy, grown-ups just don’t do that, do they? What a neat recycling project, with your daughter using your old skirt for barbie clothes. Sounds like you are a model for what we’re talking about!! Woo hoo!
Cardboard boxes are the best when you’re a kid! (and still small enough to fit inside them!) I remember playing in ones that my dad made into a neat house and a car — very cool!
Sounds like you had a fun dad that fostered imagination and creativity. What a gift! What an inexpensive way to have fun as a kid, eh? I bet kids all over the world would jump with excitement if Santa brought them a big refrigerator box. Great hearing from you!