Monday, November 19, 2012

God Rest Ye Merry Hucksters

As the fair month of November slips quietly away, I look with a bit of dread on the rapidly-approaching holiday season.  I know there will be lots of parties and dinners and gatherings to attend, and it will be very nice to spend time with all the wonderful people in my life, but a little bit of me is already starting to cringe at the orgy of greed and consumerism which is already rushing towards us.

Yesterday there was a story on the local news about some pathetic idiot who is camped out in front of a Best Buy store or something here, in anticipation of being the first one in the store when Black Friday hits.  That would be four days later.  Apparently this sad schmuck has nothing better to do than waste four days of his life on the opportunity to drop a bunch of money on some electronic gifts for his niece and nephew, which will probably be forgotten in a month or two.  I'm not sure which is worse, this fool squatting on the doorstep of corporate America or the local news idiots publicizing him like he's some kind of retail warrior or something.

This year it seems more apparent than ever that Thanksgiving is becoming an afterthought, a secondary holiday whose main purpose is to mark the beginning of the REAL holiday - the start of the Xmas shopping season.  This month I've heard more about Black Friday than about Thanksgiving itself, and that is really sad.  Thanksgiving is the biggest secular holiday and the one with the most meaning.  What could be more fitting and proper than to be thankful for all the good things in your life and to draw your friends and loved ones near to you and celebrate being together?  Sharing a good meal, a glass or two of wine, and good conversation is to me a gift that no store-purchased bauble could match.  And yet, people seem to be very willing to eschew the good things in life for the pursuit of the biggest bargain, or the lowest prices.

A lot of people will wage their assault on the local shopping mall with all the grim precision and painstaking detail of a major military operation.  It is so unseemly and undignified to be such money-grubbing, shopping-crazed automatons - robots pre-programmed by a lifetime of carefully-honed and targeted commercials to go out and shop on command.  The more money you spend, the more you love someone; that seems to be the take-away from all this.  In the single-minded pursuit of this end, so much of what makes life worthwhile seems to drop away and get left behind in the glitter and the dust.

So this year, I'm going to do what I have been doing for the past 5 or 6 years - reject all the buy-or-die hysteria, push back on the annoying, intrusive and hyperactive sales pitches, and instead concentrate on the real reason we celebrate the season - the friendship of people we love and with whom we share more than just a parking space in a shopping center lot, the coming winter solstice, and soon afterward a new year and a new springtime, and another year full of promise and opportunity, sadness and joy, and more wonderful people and rabbits gracing my life and touching my heart.


  1. I am boycotting it all. Every year I get the guilt trip to visit family I could give a crap less about and listen in sordid detail about their sad lives. The worst part? They don't even know how sad and miserable they sound. I don't care to hear about who has been to jail how many times, who is pregnant again by a stranger, who's children are in foster care again, who has been on a meth binge and who is screwing who. Christmas is depressing. I can't wait for December 26! I just want my little immediate family and some sweet potato pie! I want to spoil my bunnies with pumpkin and my kitty and doggies with lots of turkey!
    Thanks for posting this! It saves me from posting the same sentiments! LOLZ,

    1. I hear you, Brandi! I went through the same thing with my family every T'Giving/Xmas/Easter. It was sheer torture having to ordeal these "joyful events" and I couldn't wait until I got away. Now I spend very happy times with my chosen family. Holidays can be fun again - if you keep away from all the consumerism. P.S. The sweet potato pie sounds delish!