Christmas means more than just a gift from a store

One of our family traditions is to watch "The Grinch" every year during the holidays. Besides being a fun movie, the main message it conveys never gets old — the holiday season means a bit more than just buying gifts.

Published in 1957, numbers from 2001 indicate that the book "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" had sold almost 3.5 million copies. "The Grinch" movie, released in 2000, sold more than 48.1 million tickets in the U.S. alone. That shows that Dr. Seuss’ message has reached many, but have we learned anything from it?

With another increase in retail sales of 4.7 percent recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau for the month of September (when compared against September 2017) and the projection of the National Retail Federation (NRF) of about 4 percent growth in retail sales this year, it seems consumption is not slowing down in the U.S.

A report from reveals that 78 percent of consumers plan on spending more or the same on holiday gifts as they spent during the previous year. So the trend seems to indicate that shopping still is a significant activity for the majority of consumers, especially during the last two months of the year when, according to NRF, "as much as 30 percent of annual sales" happen.

Due to the increase in sales, some might argue that the holiday season is a time of overconsumption and heightened consumerism (Investopedia). Consumerism, as James Shelley explains in his essay "Fight Consumerism: Love your stuff!" reflects a constant dissatisfaction with material goods and that dissatisfaction produces the restless pursuit of satisfaction in the form of something new.

What could be an alternative to that?

Shelley’s advice is to love and appreciate what you already have.

In our family, we practice that and we take it one step further — finding meaning in the things we do; spending time on things that matter to us. To add a bit of zest, this year we are trying something new: we will use, a gift registry with a twist. It allows us to get creative and ask for and give meaningful gifts other than stuff. We will see what happens.

I think it is a charming idea because I believe that Christmas doesn’t come from a store. I believe Christmas means a little bit more.

Happy holidays!

Email Marcia Booth at Marcia@