Design Better Holidays

I love this time of year. Growing up in Montana, the holidays have a special magic. The crisp frozen air, snow everywhere, fireplaces raging, comfy wool socks... mmm. Love it.

Then I became an adult. I learned that people beat each other up for pieces of plastic fabric shaped as Sesame Street characters. I learned that elderly women have been trampled to death in the biggest yearly craze in the nation. Holiday shopping.

It's hotter than baseball in October. It's more popular than the Super Bowl (seriously) and you could actually die from it.

I for one have opted out. I don't buy it. Lol. Why do we participate in such a vile venture? Why do we support those who revel in the frenzy and stir it up so they can make even more money on things that end unused in a closet or better yet in the trash or re-gifted? Odd, I just heard some dude say "but I am getting a TV! I use that every day and the cost savings are too much to pass up!" I don't know if I can help you dude, the TV is eating you.

I beg of you, if you participate in this madness, please find an alternative. Cyber Monday is at least safer and more humane, although just as lost in a forest of consumerist, dopamine fueled insanity.

Let's do something better. How about making your gifts? Revive your painting skills, and don't buy the canvases, find something else to paint on. Mechanically inclined? Give your five closest loved ones a handwritten gift certificate for free labor on one free oil change, minus the oil of course, they need to buy that. ;) The point is, we all have skills that people value, and only children complain about money not being spent on them, even if they look like adults, they are still children. The rest of us love genuine heartfelt time and energy put into a handmade gift.

If you must spend money, consider the many alternatives to going shopping or buying things.

Whatever you do, please, do something besides continue to support this insane train we are on. This Black Friday thing has been going on nearly one hundred years and it's time for a change, it's likely the best gift we can give our society and our children.

Jesse Barney