Madison Avenue – Vanguard for Crass Christmas Commercialism

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Photo by Jayson Gomes on

Madison Avenue has always been the vanguard for Christmas commercialism. Over the decades, it has moved the cultural needle on Christmas from a religious holiday to one that is secular. I have watched this trend over the years but I was not prepared for what was presented to the public this holiday season. I probably should have seen it coming but I didn’t. Madison Avenue gave us its ultimate goal in crass Christmas commercialism…egocentric giving.

You heard it right. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, the majority of commercials on television sent out the message loud and clear. The goal for this season is to give yourself the gift you want. It started with a commercial for a luxury model car. Every person in the commercial had given themselves one for Christmas. Just in case the gullible consumer was not picking up on the message, one man’s car had a tag on it that said : To James, From James. This commercial has continued to air on prime time during the month of December.

The second commercial only lasted a few days. Was there an outcry from the public that it was completely over the top? A woman went into a store and as she passed the kitchen appliance section, she hesitated, then she put one item after another in her cart until it was full. She essentially had spent her entire Christmas budget on herself. Was it too ludicrous for the public to believe? I don’t know, but it was pulled after a few days.

I could give you another example but I know you get the drift. The geniuses on Madison Avenue want us to be completely egocentric in our giving. To say their approach to Christmas is crass is an understatement. There’s not much we can do except contact the company who bought the ad and express our displeasure at the sentiment. 

I for one will reject these not so subtle messages to become egocentric in my giving and I have one word for Madison Avenue this Christmas…REALLY?

The Glut of Stuff

pexels-photo-179959.jpegWhen my husband and I were first married, we didn’t have a  lot of stuff. We had our clothes, some furniture, dishes, and several presents from our wedding. Ten years later, I found myself walking around our home wondering how we had acquired so much stuff. People say three moves are as good as a fire, but in our case three moves hadn’t helped lessen the stuff and I needed to take a good hard look at the problem. I resolved to get rid of what we didn’t use or want.

First, I went through my clothes and managed to fill several bags with items I wouldn’t wear again. I talked to my husband about going through his clothes and he was pretty resistant at first. However, when he looked at our closet and saw how much room there was, he agreed to look through his clothing and get rid of the items he didn’t need.

Next, I looked at our linen closet. There were sheets, bedspreads, curtains, and blankets that could be given away. When they were bagged up, there was lots of extra space to organize what was left. The shelf that held our toiletries was full of complementary items that could be donated, so out the door they went too.

I then took a look at our bookcases and set out to get rid of the books that we wouldn’t read again. We gave several boxes away to different libraries and second hand stores. Voila! Our bookcases were no longer an earthquake hazard and there was room for the books we may want to acquire in the future.

Finally, I went into the kitchen and saw that our cupboards were so full that I could hardly cram anything more into them.  There were coffee cups, pots, pans and a few appliances I rarely used that could be given away. Some of the appliances had been given to us as wedding presents and I assuaged the guilt from giving them away by telling myself someone would get good use out of  them.

The whole process took several months, but when it was finished, I was much happier with how my home looked and felt. I know I could have had a garage sale and sold the stuff but I was working at the time and didn’t have the desire to organize it all and spend a weekend selling it.

Since then, I try hard not to let our home get full of stuff we’re not using any more. I keep a bag in the coat closet and when I see an item we don’t need anymore, I just stuff it in the bag. When the bag is full, I donate it to a thrift store. That is how I got rid of the glut of stuff in our home!

What about you? How do you get rid of the glut of stuff?