February 4, 2010

Use It - NOW! (by Margaret Ullrich)

According to the church calendar, the Christmas season is over. The boxing month sales are almost over. People are frantically trying to find some forgotten corner of their homes where they can stash away their great bargains.

Ah, holidays. Does anything else make us work this hard?

A few of weeks ago everyone was talking about resolutions. There were the usual plans to stop smoking, lose weight and get into shape. Fine. Health is important.

But, I didn't hear anyone mention a problem that cuts across all ethnic, socio-economic, age and national borders. A problem that causes hurt feelings in the closest of families. A problem that can haunt your family even after you've passed on and gone to that great bargain hunt in the sky.

The problem is saving.

I'm not talking about ordinary saving - things like GICs, RSPs, stocks and bonds. No. I'm talking about Christmas gift saving.

Remember Christmas? You unwrapped a gift while your loved ones watched with bated breath, eagerly awaiting your reaction. You didn't disappoint them. You oohed and aahed and said you loved it. You loved the color, the material, the cut, the fragrance, the thought and care that made your sweeties decide that you just had to have it.

Then you packed it away.

What does this mean? Are you saying that in the future you want to be given something you wouldn't be caught dead in. That you'd feel comfortable with something ugly and feel free to use it?

Oh... I know the excuses:
You're saving it for a special occasion.
You're saving it for when company comes over.
You don't want to ruin it.
You'll use it when you have a blouse, skirt, hat, coat, umbrella that'll really go great with it.
You'll use it when you've lost a few pounds.
You - as you are now, with what you own now - are not good enough to use the damn thing.

Repeat after me: I'm good enough for it... Say it again. I knew you could.

Trust me - they didn't take out a loan to buy it. They might've bought it at last year's Boxing Day Sales. They might be re-gifting. Feel better now?

Still can't bring yourself to use it?

Oh... I can hear you. You went through The Depression or The War. You know how to do without and save. Think about it. Even if there were another depression, we really won't go on a Jean Nate cologne barter system. The good old days of black markets are gone. Today a war means boom... total annihilation. Your Jean Nate will be vaporized.

Clothes do go out of style. Your grandchildren won't want them. Did you hear about the huge sale the Kennedy kids had after Jackie died? Caroline wasn't eager to wear those little pillbox hats her Mom had made so popular. Unless you have a relative working for the costume museum in Dugald, those mint condition scarves, blouses and purses will end up on a shelf at the Sally Ann.

You want them to remember you? Use the gift. They'll be fighting like cats and dogs to inherit your old purse because it'll remind them of you.

There... doesn't the image of an all out battle make you feel all warm and toasty.

After this posting, I'm going to shovel the snow that blew into the walkway. I'm going to wear those slacks my son got me. Of course I told him I loved them, but they're just not me, you know? Well, there's no point in saving them. I really thought he had better taste.


Have a great weekend. How can you miss - you're in Winnipeg!

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