A couple of weeks ago, I made up a little quiz about “What type of holiday shopper are you?”.   It was something I typed as a last-minute inspiration that seemed fun and would get my post writing finished for the week.

Quite a few people responded and it was going along just fine, and then somebody responded that she was disheartened by the materialistic and shallow replies. I commented back and forth with her a couple of times, first to make it clear it was lighthearted and fun, and second to tell her in a nice-ish way to get lost.  Of course she didn’t care for that and got one last dig in to tell me I suck anyway. Not in those exact words, but that was definitely the meaning.

As much as I’d like to laugh off something like that, it bothered me.  I don’t have a super thick skin and I told my sister about it so I could get some vindication.  Nothing like playing a stacked hand, right? Haha. Anyway, she sent me some advice about dealing with internet trolls from somebody we both follow (Jade Teta), and it really got me thinking.  Was I bothered by a random stranger telling me I don’t know what I am talking about, or was I bothered because maybe she had a point and I chose to ignore it?

After much reflection, it turns out it was both.  The first part is just something I have to get over (and I already have), but the second part has given me a little more pause.

Is it selfish to talk about buying Christmas presents when others are suffering?

Like many things, the answer is not black or white.  It’s definitely in the gray area. Here’s how I choose to think about it:

There are a lot of very poor people in the world and in this country.  It is an absolute travesty, and the thought of how many people, and especially children, live from day to day breaks my heart.  As an empath, I can easily become crippled with depression if I think about these situations too often or for too long. That doesn’t do anybody any good.

Instead, I have chosen to focus on what I can do to help.  I cannot save every kid in a terrible situation. What I can do is give a little of my money and a little of my time consistently all year long.  I mentor a girl in middle school. I give blood. I give to food drives. I give to charities on a regular basis. I’m not a hero, I’m a regular person living a regular life.

I happen to know that the people on my thread who had replied about what kind of Christmas shopper they are have very similar values.  And in the end, that is what upset me the most about this person’s comments. We are all living this life trying to do the best we can.  A sweeping statement naming strangers materialistic and selfish is not doing anything to solve any problems or help anybody.

So my answer to the question is it selfish to talk about Christmas presents when others are suffering is this – No; but, let’s all make sure we continue to care for the ones around us who need it most.  We all have different ways that we can help and contribute.

If you want some ideas on not being wasteful and making the most of your money , download my free guide to help your budget during this holiday season.  You can grab your copy right here.