I’m sick of stuff

Today my friend Judy linked to this post where a lady decided not to buy ANYTHING for her two year old son. No toys, no clothes, no activities, no playgroups, no pre-made kiddy food/snacks, no special baby shampoo or toothpaste.  She is six months in and it seems that neither she nor her two year old is regretting it. Fair play to her.

The question of consumerism is often in our house. I am married to a man who is wearing the same clothes since he was 15. Yes they do have holes. He’s just become stubborn about it at this stage but there’s something good in there about resisting pressure to own the latest trends.  Every purchase for our home comes with an hour long conversation not so much about whether or not we can afford it (which is now more real than ever) but whether or not it is a good use of our money, if we need it? We question everything.

But now we have a baby, and have realised that even when we make decisions about his life he still has friends and aunts and uncles and grannies that might not think likewise.

This troubled me at Christmas. He was 6 months old. He was oblivious so it was easy. I felt strongly that I want him to grow up associating Christmas with ‘God with us’ more than the newest toy fad. I made him a sock monkey and put it in his stocking. We went to church, listened to Kevin Hargaden preach, cried because his words cut and blessed our hearts, Eoin got kisses and hugs galore. These people are his family. And yet by the time Christmas was over we came home from visiting family and friends with more toys than he could visually digest. Whilst I was touched by others generousity I felt slightly sickened that even though we had purposely chosen not to buy him lots of toys at Christmas he still has a room full of them.

But its not just about trying to restore the meaning of Christmas… It’s about trying to help him be someone who grows up not numbed because he is surrounded by too much stuff. How do we protect him from the stuff?! How do we protect ourselves? I’m already numbed by a hundred and one things, facebook scoring highly.

I do not like negotiating these paths, all advice welcome.

I would like to do better at healthier living. I would like to be able to concentrate on a book again. I would like not to be addicted to screens.

Developing virtue and character in this world is hard.

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2 Comments on “I’m sick of stuff”

  1. Mags Says:

    I hear you sister. We have a pile of toys in one corner of our dining room that’s like a canker sore.

  2. wee frizz Says:

    hmmm, i thought i commented here… must just have got sidetracked thinking about it!! was hoping someone would weigh in with good advice! i’m with you in the struggle….

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