Monday 18 November 2019

In Defence Of Stuff - Rant Warning

I am sick of people running down “stuff” as gifts particularly at Christmas time. The new age approach (or is that millennial approach) is to give experiences rather than stuff. Well sorry, but experiences are soon forgotten, while “stuff” hangs around.

And the “forgotten” bit becomes more relevant as you get older. I don’t remember my 70th Birthday but each day I am greeted by these wonderful gifts from my Grandaughter which reside on my office desk. 

The plastic bottle, incidentally, has little supermarket giveaways in side which add movement and colour as you shake the bottle. Both the bottle and the graphic are gifts that keep on giving.

And yes, there are life experiences that keep on giving as well, the first date with my wife probably a standout. But there is a place for stuff. Stuff brings back memories. Stuff decorates. Stuff reconnects with people and events. And stuff can be very functional. One of my favourite gifts (after the plastic bottle) is my watch – a mechanical masterpiece that will last for 100 years.

Maybe society is simply over reacting to “stuff”. Yes, we do need to watch how much we consume. Yes, we do need to save the planet. But along the way, functional, attractive, meaningful, or even whimsical “stuff” has its place. And yes, some of that stuff can be donations to communities in need so they can buy stuff designed to improve life.

Am I biased? Let’s be honest – this is a retailer talking. Many of us rely on consumers buying “stuff” to earn a living. I just think we need some kickback to a trend that might be based more around laziness than a desire to give something meaningful. My Grandaughter had this nailed.

By Greg Smith