Mayhem or magic?

Photo by Stuart Guest-Smith on Unsplash

This time of year, it’s easy to get cynical and jaded about commercialism and consumerism and all the ism’s that have to do with what our culture has made of the holidays.

I’m guilty of throwing gasoline on this fire too. Just last night, in fact, I got my licks in.

But I was watching a Christmas movie today with my daughter and it involved a father walking down a street in old town America window shopping for his family. The movie was set in the 40’s, snow was falling, and the window decor was classic Americana Main St. Christmas.

Suddenly, I got nostalgic.

I realized, yes… Today’s marketing/advertising machine of the holidays is insane. Yes, the obligations this time of the year brings is enough to make one partake in an extra ladle of egg nog or four at every chance.

But it’s also pretty amazing how most anything I want (within reason) can be found within seconds right here on my sofa, purchased for a fairly low cost, and left at my doorstep within a day or two.

This marketplace we’ve designed as humans is a magical thing if we step outside the frenzy.

It’s magical walking around downtown and seeing the decorations and window displays and carolers on the streets. Yes, you can say it’s all designed to pry digital numbers from our online bank accounts.

But we must keep something in mind…

No one is forcing us to overindulge. This whole thing must be seen as it truly is. Something we made up.

I’m not even close to an economics expert, but crony capitalism strikes me as the scourge of humanity. However, the marketplace — the ability to create something and bring it to market in exchange for money (which can then be exchanged for things of value) — seems very human to me. I see the marketplace as this living, breathing organism.

Yes, it’s true, we Americans have gone a bit overboard this time of year (we tend to do that).

But behind it all, we have a lot to be grateful for. 
And isn’t that usually the case?

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Pssst: Have you grabbed a copy of the Higher Thoughts: Season Two hardcover coffee table book yet? It contains 58 essays and beautiful imagery from the second season of the publication. Makes for a fantastic holiday gift. Learn more below…