I love the week between Christmas and New Years.
The period from Thanksgiving up until Christmas day tends to be hectic with shopping and holiday preparations coupled with a ramp-up in business activity as everyone works to get their year-end initiatives completed. But after Christmas, things slow down. Much of the world goes on vacation and even those working are often checked out.
But it’s during this period of lull that I can sit back and reflect on what has happened during the past year and what’s to come next year.
One such reflection that surfaced yesterday as we sat around the tree opening gifts was one notable missing category of gifts. In prior years, electronic gadgets dominated our gift exchange but this year, there were no electronics.
Maybe it’s because there’s been a slowdown in new technology. Cell phones, tablets, laptops, and PCs all seem to have peaked. And while new gadgets such as Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home are trending, they appeal to a much narrower audience.
Don’t get me wrong, I love technology and gadgets have been a weakness for me over the years. And I’m sure that had I looked closely, there would have been ample opportunity to spend on new technology goodies, so I don’t think the lack of available electronics was what drove the change for us.
Instead, I think it’s more of a change in our view of what’s important. And a big part of this evolution in thinking came about with my creating this website where I now regularly think and write about making better financial decisions.
This year for us, instead of electronics, we focused our gifts more on things like tools, home-brewing kits, practical products, and more family entertainment items such as board games. Rather than technology escapism, we found gifts that promote self-reliance and items of a more unique and personalized nature.
And these gifts reflect how our perspective has changed.
This has been a different year for us. I’ve spent more time at home over the past year than ever before. And with more time to reflect and without a steady stream of income flowing from a job where I get paid for my time and not necessarily the end result, I’ve become more conscious of how and where we spend our money.
We’ve become less consumer-oriented and more producer-oriented. And this is a good thing.
Over the next week, I’ll continue reflecting on how the past year has changed my view of the world and what I see coming in the months ahead.
Readers, have you had any revelations or recent changes in how you see the world or yourself? Are you a consumer or a producer?