Friday, 26 November 2010

Christmas Spirit: Why We Buy

Just come from an interesting lecture from Jonathan about shopping and to some it up a little bit it was getting us to look more at the reasons we buy. To begin with we all had to think of a toy that we most remember from Christmas, mine being a bright red tractor and trailer, and how much we thought it would cost in today's money. After several show of hands we concluded that they would be in the more expensive range of toys. Jonathan then asked us what present we held dearest, mine was a Dundee FC pillow my grandparents gave me which still sits on my bed! We again had to think about the price. This time however after a few sheepish show of hands we found that these presents tended to be at the lower end of the price range. Interesting as it shows that it does not have to be something super expensive that can touch people (think I shall re-work my Christmas list for the family ha ha).

The lecture group was showing a video of children from about 8 to 12 and their attitudes to shopping as regards to clothing and appearance. We all laughed and cringed at what they had to say, forgetting that we were all just as bad...some probably still the same! What really got to me and at times made me angry was that these children feel they need the clothes they wear just so they fit in and do not get bullied. Rather than just want the clothes because they think they are cool these children are doing it out of survival from the pressures from the playground. True children can be so cruel, we have all been on one side or the other at one time, but surely we as parents, guardians, teachers, older siblings and even role models have a duty to teach these children that its OK to look different. One thing that open my eyes was the excuses the parents gave for their children to be like this, which I have to say shocked and at time upset me a little.

Watching the documentary I could totally relate to what they were saying, going back, not to long ago, to when I was at school. Thinking about it I still do it now and again, buying things I would not have thought of buying because they are in fashion. Take for example the Barbour diamond puff jackets that are usually seen worn buy farmers are now spotted everywhere from babies to teenagers to junkies. I will be the first to put my hand up and say I would never be caught dead in one years ago yet the other day I found myself keen on buying one. Why? Was it because everyone else is? Is it because now that somebody had the confidence to pull one on with jeans that now I find them acceptable? I am going to explore the ideas in this post in a bit more detail once I have gathered my thoughts.

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