Financially the last few years have  been taking a toll on everyone. I find it interesting that even though I hear people saying things are getting better, I am still hearing about serious layoffs and a large number of people out of work.

This year, this holiday season to be specific, I am seeing some changes from last year, positive changes. There seems to be a calmer sense among the people this holiday season. I am not sure of the cause. I was in Target not too long ago and there was not the mad panic that I have felt in years previous. People are buying, to be sure but not like I have seen since before the big R, but still, the dollars are racking up.

It makes me wonder if people haven’t just sort of accepted the state of affairs. Are people feeling more comfortable in saying “I can’t afford (insert gift here)?” If so is it because they know, odds are their neighbors are going through the same thing? Have we as a society really started to say, let me find another way to show you how much I care instead of spending money? Are we saying it’s ok to not do the hog-wild thing because no one expects extravagances this Christmas and because we aren’t expected to keep up with it?

Part of me can’t help but wonder if cutting back won’t in some ways make this a better holiday season. To not have to worry about what fabulous thing to find someone, to have an even larger pool of debt come January. To have acceptance of how things are and to be open in it, instead of looking at everyone else and wishing how things could be.

Lately I have been getting into all things vintage. From plates to purses, I am just enamored. One thing I have noticed, everything was smaller back in the day. People got by on much much less. It’s not easy to find a vintage purse to fit my modern needs. Women just didn’t carry all the stuff we do now.

That is a theme that fits well in this modern time, getting by on less. If this recession continues, I wonder what further strides as a society we will be making towards simplicity?