This post is going to go viral, so if you’re here for the first time let me introduce myself to those of you who are new.
My name is Everett Bogue, and I think you’re an idiot.
Why? Because you think that buying people things for Christmas will make them love you.
You think this for a lot of reasons, here are a few of them.
- You’ve been giving and getting presents at Christmas since the dawn of time. It must be right, right?
- You watched TV and saw all of the happy faces around the Christmas tree in the Coca Cola commercials, in the car commercials, in the clothing commercials. Going to to the mall to buy things for people must be what Christmas is all about, right?
- You haven’t followed up as to where the stuff that you bought everyone for Christmas actually ended up by the time New Years came around (hint: the closet, where no one has to look at what you gave them.)
Why your reality is broken.
The simple fact is that your mind has been manipulated by mega-corporations into the mess that it is now. You’ve been bombarded by advertising since the day you were born telling you that the only way Christmas would be a success was if you spent somewhere around $1,000 on gifts for people.
Gallup estimates the average American will spend $714 on Christmas gifts that no one actually needs this year. If you hadn’t read this post, you probably would have spent way more. There’s no need to thank me yet, keep reading.
What they didn’t tell you about Christmas-gift-giving is that no one actually cares anymore. They don’t want the stuff you’re buying them. In fact, everyone you give gifts to is trying to recycle them, donate them, or stuff them in their attic as soon as possible.
Think about it this way: when was the last time you got something for Christmas that you really wanted?
I’m waiting… still nothing? Exactly.
If you didn’t get anything you wanted, maybe you’re not giving anything that anyone wants either.
Why does no one care about the sweater or flashlight you gave them?
Here’s the deal. We already have way more than we ever needed. Look around, you have everything. Your family has everything. If you didn’t have something you needed, you could go to the corner store or Target and buy it for less than $20.
The reality is that your holiday shopping is overlooking the one thing that everyone actually wants Santa Claus to bring for them.
While you were at the mall running around swiping your credit card, a small child was crying into their pillow asking for something that you never could buy them at the mall.
What is the one thing that everyone wants for Xmas?
One more time: the best gift anyone can get for Christmas is freedom. Why?
Because the #1 most valuable commodity in the world is freedom. The ability to live on your own terms, doing what you want to do with your life.
And the fact that you’re buying crap for people is in direct opposition of the most important goal in everyone’s life. What is everyone’s goal? Freedom.
One more time, just in case you missed it: more stuff ≠ freedom.
You know what the worst part about this whole equation is? The crap you’re buying for people is getting in the way of your own freedom too. Couldn’t you use all of that cash you’re spending on stuff for people’s closets on making your own life better? I think so.
How to operate with a blown mind.
I understand, you’re confused and scared. What I’m saying is blowing your mind. Has every Christmas gift you’ve given been a waste?
Well, no. You see, for a long time having a lot of things was a sign of wealth. People who had money would buy fancy cars and decorate their living rooms with all of the nicest Ikea furniture.
But somewhere along the way that changed. The fact is that our generation, yours and mine, is starting to figure out that there is a better way to display your wealth. This generation is calling themselves a lot of things. Some operate under the moniker ofMinimalist Freedom Fighters, others call this generation The New Rich.
Our generation is the most mobile generation ever. We live out of backpacks, wandering the world in search of experiences. We don’t want another set of Ultimate Scrabble or another dinky flashlight/radio, because we already have it on our iPhone — and besides, it wouldn’t fit into our backpack.
What is certain is this: the less you have the more choices you have to pursue your dreams.
If dreams are like fairies, every time you give a Christmas present, Tinkerbell falls out of the sky somewhere and a lost boy cries.
So how can we fix Christmas?
If you’ve stuck around long enough to get to this point in the blog post, I’d like to offer some resources in order to save a shit-ton of money, as well as make people want to sit next to you at the dining room table at Christmas.
1. Use your resources to help someone achieve their dreams.
All of your friends and family are trying to achieve something (probably freedom, see above.) If you have the resources to spend tons of money on Christmas gifts, then you have the ability to re-direct those resources towards helping your family achieve great things. Ask your little cousin what they want to learn, and then help them pay for a class so they can learn it. Does your cousin need more education in order to rock the opportunities the world has to offer? Ask and see if there’s anyway you can help. Does your sister need funding to get herminimalist business off the ground? Maybe give her a few hundred bucks with no strings attached. If you don’t have any friends or family who need help, consider investing your money in Kiva International so that entrepreneurs in 3rd world countries can help themselves and their families this holiday season.
2. Two inexpensive and under-appreciated gifts.
There are two things that can make Christmas dinner better. 1. Hugs, which are COMPLETELY FREE, and so infrequently given. 2. More wine. If you absolutely must buy something, use your money to get something that everyone can share and consume at Christmas dinner — then no one has to try to figure out what the socially acceptable length of time before they can make another trip to Salvation Army is.
3. Sometimes the best gift you can give is to yourself.
What will make your life better? What will make you happier? I know this is a hard question to ask yourself. The answer is almost certainly not giving useless gifts to people who don’t need them. I bet you want to book a trip to Europe right now, don’t you? Well, do it. Or maybe you want to start a small business that pays for your life as you live and work from anywhere? Well, do it. Or maybe you want to learn something? Well, go take a freakin’ class and learn something new!
You’ve only got a short time on this planet, so don’t waste it being conned into wasting your money on stupid junk by giant corporations. You’re worth more to yourself than that.
This post is going to go viral without your help, because it matters this holiday season.
But, if you liked the message and don’t want to get another flashlight for Christmas, I’d love if you’d send this to your entire family, all of your friends, and perhaps your neighbors too. Definitely send it to that one person in your family who always buys you junk that you don’t need, you know who they are.
A great way to forward this on is to use the ‘Like’ on Facebook button, or the Retweet button if you use Twitter. Thank you, and happy Holidays! Ho ho ho ho.