Money, Gifts and Materialism

In this age you may see that many people have grown accustom to accumulating many things. We have counters, closets and cupboards cluttered with things we haven’t used worn, touched or even seen in months and in some cases years. The hardest part about all of it though is that I have realized we’ve passed this “habit” on to our children. With Christmas gifts, Easters, Birthdays and other holidays we’ve taught our children to take pride in quantity even though what were receiving mean’s hardly anything but the act of opening a gift and experiencing “surprises” that are hardly more then satisfying for more then a day. Not to say that there aren’t meaningful gifts, but when a child often receives a large quantity of gift’s they did not ask for we may find that their closets, just like ours, are full of untouched things. Why should we all accumulate more then we need or use? But would money be better?

In some cases, I think yes. There is an unseen guilt that I think some people have about giving a child or someone a gift card or money for a birthday or holiday? And although it would appear that I am being hypocritical as I talk about letting go of material things I think that if money is used in the right ways it can be a good thing. For example, if having that extra twenty dollars meant your child gets to go on that field trip they otherwise might not of because we couldn’t afford it. Or maybe they are saving for a pair of new hiking boots that they have wanted so their feet wont get wet on their next walk. Maybe they have had their eyes on a new skateboard that one family member wouldn’t be able to afford by themselves, or a trip to a museum or maybe even extra money to spend on a family trip to an amusement park? All of these are great examples of things that we can use money for. Things that a child can feel they have had the power of “earning” because they have used their “gifts” (money) to purchase something they wont forget.

Detaching from Materials 

Over time I had taken on the practice of “de-cluttering” or “minimizing/letting things go” and in this I have noticed myself become less stressed, more humble in letting things from the past go and most importantly focusing more on the value of personal relationships and time spent with those I love. Memories can be held onto longer than any material we will take through our lives. I have found great peace in minimizing my time spent on television and even then more time in silence and thought. I have been able to expand my knowledge in personal interests and focus on business ideas and helping others. After prying away from media I have found myself more then before blossoming into the person I was meant to be in the first place. Without being influenced negatively by comparing myself to unrealistic goals set by the media telling me that I need to purchase this or that to make me feel better or look better. I have been able to better focus on the things that truly make me feel and look better and that is by me being a better mother and letting go of the materialistic world that we live in. I pride in every moment I get to take my children on adventures. Adventures that they remember and will remember for a long time. No toy that my child/children own will be as of much importance to them then the amount of time I have spent with them growing up. Helping myself and thinking for myself has helped me become a better mother in a way that I can be a better example to my children. Showing them that materials will not satisfy any sadness, but the betterment of strong relationships and memories is what will.

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