Mindfully Managing the Mania

Welcome to the December Mindful Mama Carnival: Staying Mindful During the Holiday Season
This post was written for inclusion in the Mindful Mama Carnival hosted by Becoming Crunchy and TouchstoneZ. This month our participants
have shared how they stay mindful during the holiday season. Please read to
the end to find a list of links to the other carnival
participants.

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We find this time of year incites “the gimmies”. Are you familiar with “the gimmies”?  I had experienced the gimmies before, but didn’t know the name of it until the Berenstain Bears explained it to me.You know it’s that feeling that kids (and adults, too) get when they want something, then something else..gimme this, gimme that! What’s a Mama to do? Commercialism is at its height this time of year and “the gimmies” are sure to come a knockin’.

I’m more of a saver than a spender; my husband tends to be the one to spend more. However, I hate to pass up a good deal. So even this time of year can give me “the gimmes”. Just because something is on sale, does that mean I need to buy it? I recently was part of a discussion on the difference between a “need” and  a “want”. It can get confusing this time of year for many. Just because something is a good deal,  it doesn’t mean you have to over consume. Once again, balance comes into play. This is an excellent lesson for everyone in the family to learn.
Parents need to be on alert to all of the incoming advertisements bombarding their children from print and screen. Turning off the TV and recycling those toy catalogs are great ways to avoid the “gimme” trap. I read the suggestion of making a list of things you “want”. Keep that list and if in 30 days it’s something you still want, then consider purchasing it. This prevents impulse buying. Then do your research in deciding where you want to make this purchase. Choose to make a thoughtful decision, not a rushed one.  It’s also a great idea to have requirements for purchases that reflect the values of your family. For example, does your family value organic and fair trade practices? Is buying local or supporting small businesses important to you? If these reflect your family values, then staying away from the large, big box stores may be a good idea. There is no reason to tempt yourself and set yourself up for disappointment.  If this is something important to your family then it makes sense to avoid going to the malls and stores that you don’t want to support with your money. When buying gifts, be conscious in your decisions. Make lists, do your research and support companies and people that are in line with your values. By avoiding “the gimmies” and thinking through your purchases you should be able to mindfully manage the mania. You may also enjoy a post I wrote on Compassionate Consumerism. How do you manage the mania at your home?


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8 thoughts on “Mindfully Managing the Mania”

  1. I am also a saver rather than a spender, but I can sometimes find it hard to resist a good deal too!I try to think of all shopping like the grocery store mantra – every time you purchase something, you care casting a vote for the kind of products you support and want to see more of. I love that!

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  2. We cut cable this fall, and although we’re a TV watching family, it’s been really really nice not hearing “oh I want that!” with every. single. commercial. Now we use Netflix and used the toy catalogs. We’re getting one big toy that all three kids can play with….probably a new kitchen set, and then two small toys for each of them. I’m also making gifts for everyone this year.

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  3. I am all too familiar with the gimmes…I seem to experience them myself any time I enter a shopping mall! I have really just had to make the decision to not do so very often – it is very hard to resist the temptations otherwise. Cutting out TV has been a huge boon in that area as well, and trying to avoid the newspaper ads that are good at showing me everything I never knew I needed. 😉 Sometimes it feels like there are such minefields everywhere!I very much resonate with the other ideas you’ve shared here and hope to incorporate them more and more in my own family. Thank you for the awesome inspiration! 🙂

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  4. Oh, we haven’t encountered the “gimmes” yet! I wonder how much of it is the Critter’s age (3 yo), and how much of it is the fact that except for a Discovery Channel show about sharks, pretty much the only thing he’s seen on TV is baseball. While there is much to object to in the commercials shown during a baseball game, none of it particularly entices the Critter. I don’t think he even realizes that commercials are trying to sell things!

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  5. I consider myself a mindful consumer but I could so easily get the gimmes too! Thankfully I live in an area without huge Christmas sales and gifts, no TV and we’ve probably only had 2 toy catalogues ever (in which we all dream of buying everything but in reality nothing is purchased!) But I know the gimme tendency is still there within me and thus I find that, as you said, making lists is really a useful tool to organize priorities.

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  6. With Children ages 12, 9, 5 and 1 “the gimmes” are pretty much inevitable. We try our best to avoid plastic toys, things “made in China” and pretty much everything sold at Walmart. However, once kids hit a certain age and see what their friends have “the gimmes” hit full force. I love the idea of making a want list, and waiting to see if you still want those things a month later. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve given into “the gimmes” to get one of the kidlets a toy they just “had” to have, only to find it abondoned at the bottom of the toy box a month later!Thanks for the fabulous post!Smiles,Terri Babin@EcoCrazyMom

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  7. Thank you for participating in the Mindful Mama Carnival.I agree with you that the gimmies can get the best of us. Any media we watch on tv is either pbs, streaming or dvds. That helps tremendously not to get caught up. I remember reading an article about how companies create buzz about a product. They create a need in people’s minds and then drop it to move onto the next product. It makes sense. I remember when I was younger “needing” things and then a small sense of bewilderment when it didn’t mean much and the media attention was onto the next “need.” I always assumed the next product would get rid of that bewilderment, but it never did. So, I looked a bit beyond and, like you speak about, got clear on what needs really are.It’s a good point to keep in mind, especially during the holiday season.

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