Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Commercialismas!

Merry Christmas, Season's Greetings, Happy Festivus!

So much complaining about how horrible the commercialization of Christmas is, and how the culture of consumption is ruining everything. Blah. Blah. Blah.

I admit to being annoyed by the early start of the Christmas season. After the first two weeks of Christmas music, I was ready for all heavy metal, all the time. I'm sick of all the "Joy to the World" jokes. The toy ads drive me nuts. Not quite as bonkers as the car ads. I mean, come on, what the hell kind of a gift is it to get your spouse a brand new car on which you'll both be making payments for three to five years of financing, or (even worse) two years of a lease?

When it comes right down to it though, give as much as you want, to who (whom?) you want, when you want. Send cards. Spend money.

Yes. I'm saying the gifts themselves are important. And why shouldn't they be?

Sure, it's best if you've saved throughout the year so nothing goes on credit. It's fantastic to make the gifts - to give a part of yourself to another. It's better to give that one thoughtful gift than 20 pieces of stuff which gets stored or thrown away.

And, it doesn't really matter whether the gifts are given to celebrate the birth of Christ, the miracle of Hanukkah, or the return of sun and life after the Winter Solstice. It's a time for giving generously to family and friends. Not necessarily generous in terms of money spent, but in the time we take to acknowledge the importance of those relationships in our lives.

If January 1st is all about new beginnings, Christmas is the happy ending to the old year. It's our chance to share the bounty of a good year, or to sound a happier note before we close the book.

We're done with stockings, and with presents. We finished annual viewing of A Christmas Story. The chinese food has been delivered and devoured. Super sweet cupcakes slathered with icing have been eaten. (Well, the icing and candy sprinkles were eaten.) D, B, and J are playing with new toys. M is snoozing on the sofa. I'm taking a few minutes to type up my very happy thoughts about today. And to check the weather for the next day or two. It's important to get out and run or cycle off the gingerbread, eggnog, cupcakes, and reeces peanut butter bells.

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