Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Where Have All The Shoppers Gone?

When Tresa and I were shopping on Sunday, we made purchases in a number of stores. Some of them were J. Crew, Anthropology, Eddie Bauer, Starbucks, Lord and Taylor and Sears. We made purchases in IKEA, and when I was headed home, I made purchases in Walmart, World Market and Kohls. In all of those stores.....the longest line we stood in was in Starbucks. In every other store, we either had one person in front of us or none.

Yes, it was Sunday morning, but there is only one more weekend before Christmas. Normally when I shop at this time, the stores are mobbed. The lines at the registers are very, very long. Waiting 20-30 minutes to check out would be expected. Not Sunday.

Sure, it was awesome to be able to walk right up to the check out....but when you think about the reason you are able to do that....it doesn't feel all that good.

Irv and I are very, very fortunate to have our jobs, to be able to buy food for ourselves and to donate to the local food pantry. I am able to throw a little money into every Salvation Army bucket I see. Even though we set spending limits for gifts this year, we are still able to shop for our family for Christmas.

I know what the unemployed are going through. We were there at one time many years ago. I know what it feels like to cry yourself to sleep because there isn't enough money to pay the bills. I know what it's like to be behind on your mortgage. I know how it feels when the phone rings and you don't want to answer because you know it is the collection agency. I know what it's like to charge every single thing you buy, because there is no money to pay for it.

I know that not being able to Christmas shop isn't the worst thing in the world that can happen, but when you have young children that don't understand....it hurts.

My heart goes out to all of those who are living that life right now. I hope that they know that people care, and that one day things will be better. There are so many ways to help....we can donate a toy, or food, or money or time. I hope everyone that can.....will.

Make it a wonderful day for yourself today.

11 comments:

Cathryn said...

It's sad when you think about this economic crisis as bad as the 1930s Depression. I've been there as well when I didn't know how to feed my son or myself or how I was going to keep the lights on. This is a perfect time for the communities across the world to gather together.

Ms Sparrow said...

I have been there too. I suffer far worse depression from not being able to pay bills than I do from chronic pain or personal loss.
I'm not sure why. My heart goes out to everyone struggling through these desperate times.

Bluebell said...

I think we all feel for these people who have so little, at this time it always feels worse there is nothing as scary as not being able to pay your bills especially the mortgage, whatever else we were not able to do we always paid the mortgage first a roof over your head is so important. We have always been lucky and had jobs although Tony has been made redundant twice but always managed to get a job very quickly. I too give where I can and I suppose we all get that guilty feeling that we are luckier than some but we have struggled at times and pulled through, God bless everyone and give them some hope.
Love Jillxx

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

It's a sad time for so many folks. We ramped up our charitable giving considerably this year--and feel lucky to be in a position to do more for others. While this economy is humbling, I also think there are good lessons being learned about what to make a priority.

Mary said...

we are going through this in our community as well. i feel fortunate to have a home but we are running short of cash ourselves and will probably be shutting down the cable, phone, internet, etc. this winter and selling the car to stay afloat. and at least we have all those things to do!

Mary said...

i would just like to add that our choices to cut back are indeed choices. we are not going to be homeless or hungry. we are just really cutting back so we don't go into debt (other than the end of our mortgage!) i think it's good to remember that many of the things we think of as necessities are really luxuries. people in most parts of europe and other parts of the world live very, very differently than we do and do just fine ;-)

Lanyardlady said...

I hope that many people will see this time as an opportunity to choose to live more simply and share what they have with others. Back to the days of barn-raisings and community child care. I love your post.

Life Potentials Network said...

What a compassionate post. This year more than any other I can remember, we need to be mindful of all those less fortunate than we. Thank you for the timely reminder...may you and your family be warm, safe, fed, and happy.

Joyce said...

My heart goes out to the ones in this situation too.

After the past 2 years I have really simplified our life as in spending. Once I really knew we can't even take the hospital gown we are wearing. All the materials things stay behind.

I wish at times I had a magic wand to make things rosier.

Great post. xo

Angela said...

You are right. I am so thankful every day that Aubrey and I have jobs. I remember a time right after we got married when we both lost our jobs...and we owed the IRS(ha ha) I remember walking out of the tax place crying.

My heart goes out too. This year, we decided to draw names for the first time. Things are so hard for people now.

Bagman and Butler said...

Well-timed, well-put message. Karen and I have been trying to do more than usual this year. Unemployment is an even worse problem because few taxes come in on income or housing and so social service agencies get funding cuts so there are fewer benefits for the more people.

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