Well it's the day before the day before christmas, which means a lot of us are probably going to make the last-minute mad rush to the dollar store for gift wrap and stocking stuffers. I can only imagine the line up at the stores today.
I used to be a huge fan of the dollar store. I remember being thrilled when they started accepting debit cards. I went beyond buying practical things for my kitchen, such as dish sponges and plastic wrap. I decorated with things from the dollar store. I remember going for a beach theme in one of my apartments, and I put sand, river rocks, and shells in glass containers (all purchased from the dollar store) all around my living room. I didn't have to travel to a sunny place to be at the beach. And how could I afford to? I spent all my money at the dollar store!
I liken my shopping addiction to a spiritual crisis. I was so lost that I had to spend and accumulate. I studied International Development in university, so I had a pretty good understanding of the holistic nature of the global economy and how consumerism in the North affected the livelihoods of the South. But I was disillusioned with my life and felt I had nothing to believe in, and was content to identify myself as Collector of Ceramic Elephants, or whatever kick I was on that month.
Have you watched Story of Stuff? It takes just a few minutes to get a basic understanding of what our consumerism is doing to the rest of the world. And Andrea of My Big Fat Italian Life recently posted about the horrifying conditions of the sweatshop. I know it's not in the christmas spirit to think about the sad events of the world we share, but I think these are issues that are important to think about everytime we pull out our wallets throughout the year.
We already know that the global economy is not sustainable in its current condition and that drastic changes have to be made. I don't think it's too late to be saved. Saying "dollarama, dollarama" ten times fast may sound like "Dalai Lama, Dalai Lama," but going there is not food for our soul. And neither is mass consumerism. It's time to make a change.