This got me thinking. And got me a little convicted.
You can probably finish this blog in your head -- it's materialism. Stuff. Stuff to hold other stuff. Stuff to store stuff. Stuff to clean stuff. Stuff to make a list of the stuff. Stuff on top of the old stuff. New stuff. We have closets of stuff we haven't looked through in years. I found a box under the bed a few months ago from our move to this house . . . almost five years ago. I hadn't opened it since then.
The other day I had the luxury of wasting time in a flea market, and this place was PACKED with stuff. Forgotten stuff. Stuff that seems to no longer have value to most people. Odd dishes, toys, tablecloths, coffee mugs, cd players, posters, puzzles, candleholders, old video gaming systems, VHS tapes -- old stuff. There was also a room with new stuff (stolen? I won't guess). $75 purses, bags, and wallets -- girly stuff. Decorative stuff -- clocks, wall hangings, ocean breeze scented decorative potpourri balls in a bowl-- sheesh. While I was there a guy traded his own cell phone on the spot for a used amp and speaker system for his car -- those ones that "boom boom" your headache into existence on the way home from work at the red light.
We also started our Christmas shopping this past weekend. Chris and I had our first night away with no kids in 8 months! It was very nice, and we discovered that Lebanon can keep their food (not a big fan of kibbe with burghul -- blech), but we figured we'd fit Chrismas shopping into our day out. First stop: Toys 'R Us -- a.k.a. "Stuffville" for kids. It was so overwhelming in there. Stuff piled up so high, multiple employees are stocking, locating, and climbing nonstop to get the stuff to you. They talk to one another on walkie-talkies to help you find the stuff you want. We saw a little boy kicking and screaming at his parents, while, at the very same time, they were trying to find help to get a $400 Cadillac Escalade motorized riding toy down from this shelf. For this same kid. For Christmas. The kicking one. The one screaming at them to "shut up."
It's all just overwhelming sometimes, isn't it? I've heard lots of people talking about moving stuff out or packing stuff up to make room for the new stuff they'll get for Christmas. A lot of families have scaled down the gift giving this year since many of us are still a little on edge over the economy, but scaling down for most will still include a pretty obscene amount of stuff.