It’s the run up to christmas so the old junk mail round has been heavier than usual this week . Each day I’ve been a battling to try to stuff more and more paper into overflowing letter boxes. Seems everyone’s got a monster christmas sale on. The shops are flogging everything from bon bons to engine oil and trying to convince people to spend up big . As I trudged around this week I worried about already cash strapped families being cajoled into spending and then spending even more on gifts that will supposedly make the recipient feel special.
I’ve felt a bit guilty too. The more catalogues I deliver, the more I get paid, which in a way makes me part of the machine. Part of the push to get the christmas tills ringing and the plastic cards swiping. I know for my bride and I just getting through the fortnight requires a budgeting act on her behalf which is a balancing act. So I can relate to the poor letterbox owners on my round. At times I have a little voice telling me I should be spoiling my family more. That a bigger fridge, an outdoor setting, ( that I didn’t find on the nature strip,) would make the holiday season more comfortable. I’d like to buy my grandson Jake that star wars leggo thing I saw in one of the brochures. I’d like to see his eyes light up in surprise as he ripped the christmas wrapping of it. But take solace in the fact he’ll thank just as warmly for the book I got him for ten bucks.
I worry that for some people who read those colourful brochures I peddle , it might make them feel that they are not in the main game. I worry that they might feel swamped by the pictures of happy faces staring back at them from the Kmart catalogue. That they might feel that no money to buy gifts makes them poor. But the older I get the more I’ve come to appreciate that it’s doing the little things, not buying the big things that people we care about really need.
Two things I do know that have got cheaper are phone calls and note pads. I reckon a simple phone call can be a gift which is priceless. A simple, ‘ Gidday, I was just thinking about you and thought I’d give you a ring,’ would be a present anyone would be glad to receive. And if you make the call from one of those old-fashioned landlines prices start from around twenty cents. For $2 you can buy a note pad and write someone a letter. For most of us the mail is full of envelopes with little windows, but for the grand sum of sixty-five cents you could just make someones christmas. You could fill the letter with the love that person has given you throughout the year. You could tell them you intended to get them a large screen TV, but you’d already sealed the envelope!
So I’m sorry about all that stuff I’ve been cramming into your mailbox. I hope you’re not buying suff you can’t afford. I reckon the best gift any of us can give is ourselves and we don’t need glossy junk mail to find that gift. See Ya.