Letting go of Materialism


“I want it NOW!”


1. Constant concern over material possessions and wealth; a great or excessive regard for worldly concerns.

2. The philosophical belief that nothing exists beyond the physical (also called physicalism).

(From Wiktionary)


In the movie “Orange County”, Collin Hanks is trying to console his hysterical mother, Catherine O’Hara. One of my favorite exhange of lines in the movie happens in this scene:

-Collin Hanks: “Come on, Mom, you know money can’t buy happiness…”

-Catherine O’Hara (between sobs): “Oh grow up, YES IT CAN!”

Funny in a dark way, yes?

This holiday season, my parents are making a move to spend less and save more; meaning that they are severely cutting the gift-giving money budget. At first I was, admittedly, a bit dissapointed. Who doesn’t love tearing the wrapping paper off of gifts Christmas morning? Who isn’t excited when they find their stocking fat with candy, knick-knacks, and other stocking stuffers?

The more I think about this decision of theirs to spend less on Christmas, the more I am glad they decided upon it. I’ve been thinking about why I am glad for their newfound conservative gift policy.

My reasons for thinking less about possessions this holiday season: 

  • The Obvious – Giving and receiving gifts isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, too much materialism during the Christmas/other winter holiday season does detract from the actual meaning of the holidays. Not to sound like too much of a holy-roller, but…I do hope to really contemplate and meditate on the birth of Jesus Christ and the Nativity story this year. I have not really done thi in years past.
  • Relaxation and company – I want to enjoy being at home, not working, and seeing family and friends that I do not have the pleasure of seeing regularly.
  • Creativity – I could easily go and buy my family expensive Ipods, phones, cameras, etc. and consider my gifts for them taken care of. Having a smaller budget will require more creativity and thoughtfulness to go into their gift planning.
  • Kicking the habit – I would like to start buying less in general, and becoming more thrifty and frugal with my money. Maybe this Christmas I can start my quest to let go of the materialism that permeates our society. I definitely don’t want to have “constant concern over material possessions,” as the definition reads.

I don’t mean to condemn gifts. I’m still going to get a couple and give a couple; and enjoy them. And this isn’t going to be easy for me at all. I’m going to miss the wrapping paper and the knick-knacks on Christmas morning. But I’m not going to let it get me down 🙂 I’m going to let it be the start of establishing a fiscally-conservative lifestyle.

Do you have any thoughts on saving money during the holiday season/any methods for doing so? What are your thoughts on thriftiness, in general?

Peace and Love,


Song of the Day: San Ber’dino – Frank Zappa


3 thoughts on “Letting go of Materialism

  1. Wow, I like what you wrote about materialism and the holiday season. I think thriftiness is good especially when times are bad. Thriftiness do teach us how we don’t have to blow out our budget when it comes to getting presents for people. Besides, it’s always the thoughts that count the most when it comes to giving presents without breaking the piggy bank.

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