First day of Not So Green Exposure Project. Sunday. 9 days before Christmas. I am feeling pressure from all the stores to buy lots of stuff, in a hurry. When I opened the San Francisco Chronicle this morning, I found 25 inserts from various advertisers:
Target: ‘Expect More – Pay Less’. Holiday Hours: Open Sunday through Saturday 8am to 11pm’. Sony: ‘What to Give. What to Get’. Cost Plus World Market: ‘Wondrous Gifts. Wow Prices’. Dell: ‘Wish for right now. Ask for brilliance. Wish for smiles. Ask a knockout. Wish for safekeeping. Wish for more’. Ritz & Wolf Camera. ‘SALE. FREE’. Radio Shack. ‘Last-minute deals worth the wait‘. Best Buy: ‘WOW’. Macy’s: ‘9 Shopping Days to Go’. Circuit City: ‘Dash through your list’. JC Penney: ‘Super Hot Buys. 3 Days Only, Sunday-Tuesday, December 16-18’. Mattress Discounters: ‘Last Chance to Save on Tempur-Pedic Mattresses’. Nikon: ‘Incredible Holiday Prices’. T-Mobile: ‘The Exclusive Holiday Collection’. Bed Bath & Beyond: ‘20% off any one of our hundreds of thousands of items’. Sports Authority: ‘Save up to 40% on outerwear’. Big 5 Sporting Goods: ‘Gigantic Holiday Coupon Sale’. Sears: ‘Entire Stock on Sale’. Mervyns: ‘Christmas Countdown Sale. Only 9 Shopping Days Left. Must-have Gifts, Can’t Miss Prices’. Crescent Jewelers: ’12 Months Interest Free. No Down Payment’. K Mart: ‘Okay, Let’s Wrap It up! Sunday 12/16 – Sunday 12/23. Monday 12/24 6am-10pm’. Magnolia Audio & Video: ‘Sights and Sounds For the Holidays. All on sale’. Pepboys Auto: ‘Holiday Gift Guide From the Boys’. Michaels: ‘Great Gift Sale. Thousands of Creative Choices’. Staples: ‘That Holiday Was Easy’. Walgreens: ‘Open’ til Midnight Thru Dec. 23′.
25 voices shouting in unison, and leaving me with a bunch of impressions, all jumbled up in my brain.
I have to go shopping for presents, I know, this is what one does for Christmas, right? Not a single mention of global warming and going green. It doesn’t fit in the whole picture. No, let us concentrate instead on the task at hand. It’s a job, and everyone is out there to help me get it done well, and fast. The mall has turned into Ali Baba’s cavern, filled up with goodies, especially for the occasion. Plus all the stuff is so cheap, and the stores are open 24/7, I have no excuses. I just have to hurry, there is no time to think too much, the good deals are in limited supply, and only for so long. If I am smart, I can even ‘save’ money, with all the sales, and awesome discounts. And for big ticket items, I don’t have to pay right away, payments can be deferred. Nothing is spared to maximize my fun of getting as much stuff as I feel like. Under the guise of getting presents, I can satisfy my urge to shop. Guilt free. It’s for others, it’s mandatory. All for a good cause, the creation of one big happy family moment. Christmas morning, unwrapping presents like mad, by the tree. Giving my love ones and receiving from them, stuff. The more, the better.
In the past I would have gone along with the voices, and seized the opportunity. This year, I am resisting it. No move yet, towards the mall. No gifts list. Christmas has become a problem. How to satisfy the children’s expectations, without compromising my growing green core? I am sick and tired of shopping. At the same time, I still love the ritual of wrapping gifts, and placing them under the tree. The more, the better. Concrete manifestations of love, displayed for all to see.
To help Green Girl Wannabes like me, there are plenty of green experts, with lots of good advice on how to green my Christmas. I will probably end up listening to them, and walk the path of compromise, buying still, only greener presents.