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Why You Should Think Before You Buy

Buzzle Staff Jul 28, 2020
Are you tired of it seeming like the holiday shopping season comes earlier every year? If so, maybe you need to stop and do a little thinking before pulling out your wallet.
Now that it's November, it's important to go out right at this moment and buy as many holiday/Christmas gifts as you can and cannot afford. Don't wait for the big Thanksgiving sales.
Go out, right this instant, and buy things! Because if you don't buy things, it means you don't love people enough, and everyone will know that you don't really care about them. So, don't wait for the weekend. Don't even wait until you've read the rest. Don't think; just buy! Happy holidays!
Are you a little, tired of that particular set of messages? Are you tired, too, of having the same conversation every year with salespeople, about how it seems like the 'holiday shopping season' comes earlier every year? Or of reading human interest stories about intense shopping experiences each year in your local paper? If so, this is for you.
But isn't that kind of funny in itself? Somehow, weariness of the consumer folderol that surrounds the winter holidays gets equated with being a Grinch. Well, don't worry; we don't intend to steal Christmas.
Though wasn't the moral of that story that Christmas isn't about the presents; that's at least how the story gets presented, though one might well wonder if we, as consumers-viewers-readers, would find it quite so satisfying if, at the end, the Grinch didn't bring back all the presents.
Instead, we just want you to think for a moment about buying things. Not about which things you'll buy and for whom, but about the process of buying things itself.
Spend ten or fifteen minutes really thinking about holiday gift-buying: why you do it, when, and so forth. If you're feeling hardcore, actually sit down and write about it. And if you're having difficulty (or even if you're not), try answering some or all the these questions mentioned ahead.
  • When you buy someone a gift, why do you do so?
  • If you feel anxious about finding the 'right' gift, why is that?
  • What do you think may happen if you get the 'wrong' gift?
  • When do you buy your gifts for the holidays? Why at that time?
  • How would it change your experience of the whole process if you bought all your holiday gifts in June?
  • Why don't you buy gifts in June (unless, of course, you do)?
  • How do you decide which people you'll buy gifts for and which you won't?
  • How do you feel when people you haven't given anything to buy gifts for you? Why? How do you react?
  • How much money do you think is appropriate or necessary to spend on a gift (think about different categories: for a workmate, for your lover, for your parents, etc.)? Why?
  • What factors in your own life influence how much money you think should be spent on gifts?
  • What do you think would happen if you bought no gifts at all?
  • What do you think would happen if you bought something, however small, for every single person you know?
  • What's your opinion on home-made gifts? Why?
  • What factors in your own life might have influenced that perspective?
As mentioned before, we aren't trying to get you not buy gifts for anybody but asking you to think before buying gifts and about why and when you should do it. Luckily, there's a handy list of questions to help you do so right at hand.