Christmas Shopping Anxiety

I just returned home from yet another bout of Christmas shopping after my yoga class. It seems like I do this every year, but never learn my lesson. I start my Christmas shopping early to make sure that I don’t have to rush around at the last minute. I make a list, I get all the items on said list, but then, I continue to buy things randomly for the rest of the weeks leading up to Christmas. It has become something like a compulsion. I can’t stop myself. I am in a continuous state of oscillation between feeling like I didn’t get everyone enough stuff and feeling like I got them too much stuff.

For the majority of the year, I am the cheapest person you’ll ever meet. I very rarely buy any one item that’s more than $10. I spend the vast majority of my money on groceries every week. I don’t go out to restaurants or movies or shows. I don’t buy myself clothes or jewelry. Hell I even procrastinate going to the dentist because I don’t want to pay my new copay. I pretty much solely shop in the clearance section of any store. I honestly can’t remember the time I bought something for myself at full price. Yet when Christmas comes around I become blind to the amount of money I am spending.

The money thing is more just something I find intriguing. I’m not worried about the money. I have plenty to spend and I much prefer spending money on other people than myself. The bigger problem is my fear of what other people will think about how much I’ve spent on them. You see, I like to at least get something little for everyone in my life. I want to get my two closest friends at work gifts even though I didn’t pick either of them for our secret Santa, I want to get my boyfriend’s parents something, I want to get my friend’s husband something, my sister’s boyfriend and his daughter something, etc. I never think much of doing so, until I realize that they may feel bad for not getting me anything, or feel like they are expected to get me a gift the following year.

It seems like no matter which way I go, more gifts or less, I feel like I am going to make people uncomfortable. I think my anxiety/autism has a lot to do with my difficulties during the holidays. I’m an extremely affectionate person. Yet I honestly doubt most people in my life know that about me. Normally, I am too self-conscious or afraid of being vulnerable to express it. Christmas is the one time of year that I have a socially acceptable way to show the people in my life how much they mean to me. I spend a lot of time and thought on the gifts I get, trying to make sure it’s something the person will like and actually use. I write vomit inducing, heartfelt Christmas cards. I get much more excited to give to others on Christmas than to receive anything myself. Honestly, I don’t care about the latter part at all.

However, being the socially awkward person that I am, I have no way to gauge what is enough and what is too much. I don’t know how to find the balance between expressing my love and going so over the top that the other person feels guilty. I just hope that the people in my life understand that it is truly a joy for me to have an opportunity to give them tokens of my affection. It doesn’t matter to me if they didn’t get me as many things or spend as much money or even get me anything at all. In my mind these gifts have already been reciprocated in kind by their presence in my life the rest of the year.

7 Reasons To Start Your Holiday Shopping Early - Romantic Homes

Do Not Buy These Products!

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I am not certain how other grocery stores around the country (or world) are set up, but the ones in my area seem to be purposefully misleading. The stores that I frequent generally contain all of the strictly vegan food products that I buy in a designated area. It is sometimes labeled the organic section. This is very convenient, but can also be quite frustrating.

Frequently, I still find myself scanning over many items among the selection that are not vegan or not even vegetarian. These items such as “organic eggs” or “grass-fed beef” are set among vegan products as just another “healthful alternative” to more commonplace foods. However, as we vegans know, this is not the case. Despite packaging labels like “free-range” we know that these foods are still contributing to the abuse and subjugation of our animal friends and that meat and dairy, no matter how it is raised or processed, is still unhealthy for the human body.

The brand Go Veggie!, shown above, is one example of this misleading situation. For the first few years of exploring the vegan and vegetarian lifestyle, I saw this green packaging, suggestive brand name, and lactose free label and bought this product countless times under the impression that it must be a vegan cheese alternative. However, after finally reading the ingredients on the back of the package, I saw that these “cheddar flavor slices” did contain a small amount of dairy!

I was alarmed and outraged. It seems like brands such as this one are purposefully trying to obtain more customers by deceiving them. Not only that, this cheese tastes awful! It is not nearly as close to the taste of cheese as are true vegan alternatives such as Daiya. Upon further investigation of the Go Veggie! brand, I found that they do produce actual dairy free cheese products, so I am not entirely sure why they are even making this alternate, non-vegan, merely lactose-free option. This company just does not sit well with me.

The point is, never let yourself assume that a product is vegan just based on its packaging or placement in the grocery store. As much as we’d all like to stop obsessing over endless lists of ingredients, unless it specifically says it is vegan, there is a good chance that it is not. Don’t let these bullies push their products on us unknowingly. Make sure your money is supporting true vegan brands.

Stay vigilant, my friends. ❤

Veganism is Not Expensive or Limiting

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Many people do not consider veganism an option because of their socio-economic standing or their desire for variety in their diets. Well, I have just returned home from doing my grocery shopping for the upcoming week, and just look at all of the wonderful treats I bought! In case you cannot see clearly enough in the picture I will list them for you:

  1. 2 cartons of blueberries
  2. 1 carton of strawberries
  3. Tofurky kielbasa
  4. Earth Balance vegan butter
  5. Popcorn with sea salt
  6. Grilled chik’n patties
  7. Apple crisps
  8. Frozen lima beans
  9. Fruit puree (which I mentioned in my post about vegan snacks)
  10. Croissants 
  11. Vegan riblets
  12. Granola cereal

Better yet, all of these items only cost me $23! Granted, I managed to find some incredible deals this week at my local grocery store, but if you are flexible with what you buy from week to week, it is always possible to save just as much money. I never spend more than $25 a week on groceries. So, there is no need to feel intimidated by veganism. You can do it! ^_^ Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go inhale some vegan noms.

Stay peaceful, my darlings.