Stop the Madness!!! For those of you who know Susan Powter, you know what I am talking about. For those of you who don’t, well, now you know my age.
My husband and I have coined Christmas 2011 the, “Open up your wallet and dump it out,” holiday. Joke’s on your Papa Noel, there ain’t nothing in that wallet but some change and growing debt. Yes, this year is a jolly plastic celebration.
What the hell man? Where did these organizations come from? Where were you people in June when we actually HAD money? I am not a Grinch, quite the opposite. I am dying to help everyone out, but the reality of the situation is that it is just not humanly possible. I have given time and money where I can, but somehow, it just doesn’t seem like enough. What about the Help the Orphaned Chimps Foundation (it is real!!), don’t they need some love too?
It doesn’t matter what your religious beliefs are, it seems like every year more hands are sticking out asking for donations (I think even atheists will agree that things are getting out of control). I used to have my go-to charities that I could budget for; along with all the gifts for families, friends, teachers, neighbors, mailperson, and the “just in case I get invited to a party” goody bag. And I would love doing all of these things. What a humbling and exhilarating feeling knowing that you did your part and helped out. Involving your child in the donating process is such a great thing as well.
So why do I feel like crap?
One word – Guilt.
I was born Catholic, so basically I am hard-wired to feel guilty about any and everything. Even if I did not do anything wrong.
So when I say “no thank you” to a salesperson when they ask if I want to buy a book for a child and they give me that “heartless bitch” look, it blows. I drag my can out of the store feeling like a horrible person whom the townspeople should stone in the parking lot.
“I’m sorry!” I want to yell, “But my credit card was cowering in fear because it is about $20 away from its limit and I still have to buy the damn ingredients for the Kindergarten’s gingerbread house kits!”
What to do? Should charities stop asking for help during the holidays? Absolutely not! People (and monkeys) need help, and we should help them (but maybe some organizations can ask for money in May, not too much going on in May!).
What about us? How do we make peace with not being able to help every single living and non-living thing? I don’t know if we ever do. But maybe we can be easier on ourselves. Volunteer when we can; donate money when we have it (or sock some away so we can donate); and be courteous to all stressed out shoppers.
So this season, I am going to chill-ax with my family and deliver some Christmas cheer to the best of my abilities.
Because that cheer is probably going down the toilette when January hits with a massive financial hangover!