When I started reviewing products, I really had a very different idea of what “luxury” meant. I assumed luxury meant private jets, jewels, extravagant meals, beauty products with price tags so high you might wonder if you were purchasing a cream, or a new face. but as I began to consider these products, I began to realize that luxury means many different things to many different people.
The textbook definition of luxury is something that is an indulgence rather than a necessity. But one person’s indulgence is another person’s necessity. For many people, luxury is something that is out of reach of that is insanely expense –status symbols like huge yachts, furs, collectible cars….an extravagant lifestyle. These things really are just aspirational except for a small segment of the popular (and I am assuming that includes many of my readers). But if you have the money, another car, or even the $62,000 Guerlain lipstick compact crafted from real gold and studded with gemstones and diamonds, is just another nice thing you can put on your credit card.
For most people, a luxury is something that is a product, service or experience that is an indulgence, but still within the realm of economic feasibility. A pricey vodka in a crystal bottle may not be a necessity (it might not even really taste any better than the one you get at the local liquor store) but it looks amazing and makes you feel special. An upscale stove might look really cool and have bells & whistles yours doesn’t, but it will still boil water just like a budget brand stove will. Above-average priced moisturizers may cost more than a bargain brand, and it may have additional ingredients that are good for your skin, but a moisturizer still basically hydrates. On the other hand, a Fraxel Laser Skin Resurfacing treatment which can make a huge difference in the health and beauty of your skin might be very low on your priority list after paying the rent, gas for the car, and so forth, but in this youth-obsessed society (and when can we end that trend, forever?), Fraxel might make help you feel confident enough to get a job or find new love Would Fraxel then, a luxury or a necessity?
…and what about the things money can’t buy? For over-stressed people, a , “luxury” might simply mean a day to put down the laptop and mobile phone, and spend time focusing just on family or friends. Luxury for a man whose mother in law is a meddler, might mean in-laws who relocate far, far away! For a busy mom, “luxury” might mean a soak in a scented tub, a catnap, or maybe an actual cat , purring on her lap!
The point of this post is to remind me, and you, and everyone around us, that the holidays are a time to be grateful for the things we have, and not feel jealous or deprived. Most of what we see in the media is fantasy,and it it designed to stress us out, to make us feel like we are inadequate if we don’t spend more, and to feel bad if we don’t “get” more. You know that old saying, I thought I was miserable because I had no shoes, until I met the man who had no legs? The real luxury this year is to be grateful. The best gift does’t cost a penny, it’s called “joy.”
What does luxury mean to you? It is a little splurge (e.g. a $28.00 lipstick instead of the $12.00 drugstore brand)? It is something you just don’t need (or have multiples of) but you can’t resist it? Do you think luxury has a pricetag …and if so, what’s the number? Please share your thoughts on what luxury means to you. There’s no need to write a term paper–a few sentences will do!