Posted on December 5, 2008. Filed under: News And Politics... |

Well, with the recession in full bloom (and finally admitted by the government), America is getting a big wake-up call, and humility is on the line…

While it’s sad that our economy is doing so poorly, I do see a silver lining here.  A lot of people have been living way beyond their means, and now it’s all catching up to them.  It was only a matter of time that all the free spending would have consequences.  America is known for living in excess and now we’re experiencing the price of our actions.  All the high-end stores have a high overhead and, naturally, they pass those costs onto the consumer.  Their prices have always been so over-inflated and they’ve been so greedy with reporting record profits at our expense, and now they are “reduced” to begging us to shop at their stores, slashing (or so they want us to believe) their overpriced merchandise.  They’re experiencing humility in its rarest form.  Wal-Mart, not surprisingly, has been doing great, amid the downfall of other retailers.  Why?  Because they don’t imitate all the fluff of those overpriced storesthey go against the grain and keep their prices low, they keep their overhead within reason and they aren’t too greedy about their profits.  Why else would there be thousands of people waiting outside their doors on Black Friday?  You didn’t see that happening at any other stores, did you?  Why would people pay high prices at some stores when they can get the same merchandise for much less at Wal-Mart?


We’re seeing stores, companies and now Christmas shoppers rethinking their extravagant spending habitshabits that are going to be hard to break.  This is God’s way of humbling us and saying, "enough is enough"!  There are so many people that are materialistic and now they’ve been knocked down a couple of pegs.  People are now doing what they should have done a long time ago…curb their spending and live life without the excess.  The surprising thing is that people will find out that life will still go on without that huge plasma TV or without all the expensive designer duds and gadgets on their Christmas lists this year.  Hey, I would love a Blackberry, an iPod, a new computer for Christmas and a nice vacation getaway, but I’m not going to live beyond my means to obtain them.  People just don’t want to go without nowadays, and now we’re all forced to do just that.


This is all distressing, isn’t it?  Below are the retail sales numbers for some retail companies for the month of November.  I’m sure December’s numbers won’t be much better than this…



Hmmm…Retailers, welcome to our world.  We have been experiencing a collapse for some time now.  There are record lows for high-end retail stores, while stores like Wal-Mart are seeing gains (big surprise there).  Well, I say Boo Hoo to Abercrombie & Fitch, Neiman Marcus and the rest of those high-end stores.  Maybe they can cry on the shoulders of the rich who can go on those shopping sprees they’re so famous for to help stimulate their fallen revenue.  I have a little suggestion that will help us deal with the bad economy…


My intent is not to offend anyone, but maybe it’s time for everyone to get back to what Christmas is really all about instead of trying to figure out how they’re going to be able to afford to buy presents for everyone on their Christmas list this year.  What is the sense of stressing over this?

Months ago, my husband and I decided that this year, Christmas would be different.  Times are tough and going to get a lot tougher.  People would be better off to do for their own families than trying to appease everyone with gifts they could ill afford.  What good is it to charge presents then worry about how to pay off the credit cards?  Who needs all that needless stress on top of the stressors we have now?  There is always this pressure to spend what we don’t have.  I always hear people moaning and groaning about how much money they spent, but couldn’t afford.


Now, for the silver lining…


My advice, if anyone cares to know, would be to take care of essentials this Christmas season.  Take advantage of the huge discounts and buy extra clothes, socks, shoes and blankets for you and your family.  Buy shampoo, soap and detergent.  Stock up on canned and dry goods.  Focus on the essentials that you need!  Forget about expensive presents.  Use the money to make sure your family has the daily essentials.  After all, charity begins at home, doesn’t it?  The sales won’t last forever, and who knows how long the shelves are going to be stocked anyway.

You want to do something nice for your family this Christmas?  Rent a family movie, pop some popcorn and watch the movie together.  Go to the library and take out a classic and read to the whole family.  Get back to the wholesome family togetherness that has been missing for quite some time.  Have a pot luck dinner and invite friends over.  Light the Christmas tree and sit around with hot cocoa and tell stories.  Reconnect with your family and friends that have been there for you all year.  Let’s get back to the old fashioned values.  Let’s have a practical, homespun Christmas.  Who knows, you just might like it.


We all have friends and family who have been there for us through all the ups and downs of the past year.  We may not be able to afford to buy them Christmas presents, but we want them to know how much they’re appreciated.  I’m sure you are all in the same boat.  How do you thank the people who have been there for you throughout the year without depleting your finances?  What about a nice dinner now and then?  Give them a Christmas card with an invitation to a dinner or two in it.  This is the gift that keeps on giving throughout the year and is more cherished by all than a gift that they either don’t like or was too expensive for you to buy.  This is a gift that you know they’re not going to return!  An added plus is that this would reinforce the bond that you already share.  There is nothing better than that.


In today’s fast and furious world, we tend to take for granted what we have, and indulge in what we want.  Maybe just this once, we should concentrate on what we need…to spend quality time with family and friends who have been there for us throughout the year instead of spending time and money foolishly on things that don’t really matter anyway…


Wishing you and yours a Very Merry Christmas and a more prosperous New Year,




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One Response to “AMERICA’S WAKE UP CALL…”

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Amen, I say to you! God Bless and may 2009 bring joy, peace, health and love.Maureen


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