Tuesday, November 27, 2007

To Consume or Not to Consume

So I had decided long, long ago that my trip to Egypt would be my one exception to my non-consumption this year because going to Egypt is a once in a lifetime experience and anyway, I rationalized to myself that by buying in Egypt, I'd be supporting a third world economy.

But I wasn't entirely prepared for the confluence of emotions that hit me as I prepared to shop- there was a pent-up desire to shop, there was relief that if I needed/wanted something I could just get it without having to jump through a myriad of Ebay or Amazon marketplace hoops, and there was lots and lots of guilt.

Even though I had told myself Egypt was an exception, it was hard for me to buy without feeling like I was cheating on my non-consumerist vows.

As a result, I ended up buying a lot less for myself than I usually do when I go on trips which is good. Mostly I bought gifts for friends, so now almost all of my Christmas gifts are taken care of, so that's somewhat of a relief.

I still have a few more Christmas gifts left though, which is another struggle. I also decided that when I became a non-consumer that gifts would be exempted. Mostly because I didn't want my friends and family to hate me. BUT, I still feel weird about buying gifts. I'd rather buy experiences- tickets to plays or concerts or museums, but experiences can be kind of expensive so I'm not sure if that's going to work out. Any ideas for inexpensive experiential gifts would be much appreciated.

2 comments:

Amelia said...

To what extent do you not consume?

EcoGeoFemme said...

My BFF and I have not exchanged gifts in years because we didn't want to spend money on some trinket that we neither of wanted to spend money for and neither of us wanted to have. So instead, we go out together (to a restaurant or bar) around the holidays. We don't let guitl about the money we're spending on the dinner or drinks tarnish our fun because it's our gift to each other.

Do you think any of your friends would be relieved not to have to buy a gift for you either? Maybe you can suggest an outing.