Thursday, December 24, 2009

While Many Americans Were at the Mall...

I was nowhere near it. I spent a relaxing day off from work browsing local thrift shops, eating a cozy lunch with my parents, and hanging out with their rescue doggy.

I passed by the This-n-That Thrift Shop in Hillsdale, so I popped in. They were having a 50% off sale. These tea lights were just 25 cents!

Snow boots, half off were $4.50. Super cute with my $5 C.A.T.S. Resale Shop jeans, my new white romantic top from Beautiful Little Secret, and...

the Cameo I eyed at Revived Attire (just steps away from This-n-That). It was still there. Yeah! Just $4. I also scored these hardcover books at the C.A.T.S. store for $1 each. Their combined retail value, $50! I just can't get into ebooks. I don't want to curl up with a Kindle.

Lunch time! On a blustery December day, PJ Finnegan's in Westwood was packed.

Want to peek inside?

When I step in here, I feel like I'm transported back to Dublin.

I would have loved to linger over a pint of Magners cider. Too bad I was the driver. I don't drink often, so I figured, best not. Safety first!

Vegetarian and vegan options are few. I asked for a vegetarian plate sautéed in olive oil and onions and garlic. Love the woodsy, fragrant rosemary. My kind of pub grub! The plate: $7.50.

How I adore books, and music. I can't imagine my world without either.

The shopping I did this year? Charitable gifts for residents in need and food for a church pantry, and 12 holiday cards for $1 from Our Thrift Shop in Westwood. I also made charitable monetary donations and tipped my mailman, although I don't have much mail. That's it!

It's easy to think maybe Lucy on A Charlie Brown Christmas was right: "Christmas is a big commercial racket. It's run by a big Eastern syndicate, you know?"

It's not about being Scrooge-like. It's about rejecting this ridiculous societal pressure to spend ourselves into debt and to think showing someone you care about them means buying something. "I love you" doesn't mean sending relatives, friends and sweethearts to the mall. I got a card and a small gift from someone last Christmas, but the thoughtful sentiments on the card meant more than any gift. I still have that card.

My loved ones and I agreed no gifts this year, and we couldn't be more relieved. If we want something, we can buy it ourselves. Why is our economy so dependent on people buying gifts, many of which are unwanted and that many cannot afford? We'd rather do non-material things: go out for a nice, reasonable meal at local restaurant or see a film at the town cinema, both of which support the economy just as much as some sweater purchase. Even more frugal, spending time at the park with the dog when the temperature allows or sharing a meal or a cup of tea at home.

Cate from Budget Confessions says, "One evening right before Christmas, we get into the car (prepared with warm clothes and hot chocolate), turn on some Christmas music, and drive around our favorite neighborhoods looking at lights." Love it! These simple, pleasurable moments are what the holidays are all about to me. The gifts are best left for those in need and children.

Enjoy the seaon!


Mother Rimmy said...

What a wonderful day! I sure beats the mall. Merry Christmas!

Vegan Good Life said...

Thanks for the nice comment! Merry Christmas to you as well!