Why Bother To Be Content?
No matter their age, gender, or occupation, I can spot a contented person when I see one. Contented children are easily satisfied and grateful when you give them a simple treat such as a peppermint stick with their hot chocolate. Adults who are content, relax and enjoy the moments that make up any given day. But during the Christmas season, if we are not watchful, our contentment can be challenged.
Capitalism and Commercialism
I am grateful that our trade and industry is controlled by private owners for profit rather than controlled by the state. Capitalism ensures free enterprise, but consumers need to be wise. Businesses are in the business of selling and marketing goods. They also understand how to stir up discontentment. You may think you have everything you need until you see something better.
Christmas commercials began airing before Thanksgiving. In one such commercial, Santa and his elves are shown making the wish of a child come true by delivering a new family car on Christmas morning. In another commercial, if you are not sure of the perfect gift to give, a diamond ring will spread the cheer.
Realistically though, most people cannot afford a new car or diamond ring. But marketers do not care if you can afford what they are selling. They just know that discontentment gives them a better chance of making a profit. Planting an idea is sometimes all it takes.
To be content with what we have is the way to live contentedly during this consumer buying season. Knowing our true core values, will keep us steady when tempted to buy more than we need or can afford.
My husband and I have always made it a point to live within our means. Early in our marriage, we had three children and one income. Christmas shopping on a tight budget made me wish I could give my children more than I could. But I also knew that toys and gadgets never make memories worth holding onto.
Instead of overspending, we spent time building traditions that last longer than any of the newest game devices. Gathering around the table for a special Christmas morning breakfast, sledding, caroling, or watching Christmas movies kept us together and out of debt during the holiday seasons. And our sons were none for the worse for it. Even as adults, they still look forward to celebrating Christmas with the simple, but meaningful traditions we gave them long ago.
Why bother to be content? Contentment is worth cultivating since it makes for better memories than any amount of debt.