The Star-News


Presents are reason for the season

Sat, Nov 12 2011 12:00 PM Posted By: Carlos R. Davalos

 

To hell with Christmas. And Hannukkah. And Kwanza. And even The Holidays.

Let's dispense with the charade that the months of November and December are about celebrating Christ, God, family and friends or all the warm fuzziness that Hallmark and ABC Family would have us believe are the driving forces behind this time of year.

Let's call it what it is: The Shopping Season.

I was reminded of this not so subtle shift in attitude while listening to the radio on a drive to work. A commercial pitch woman said there were only so many "days until shopping season was here."

I'm not religious. Nor am I particularly warm or fuzzy. Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year's Eve/Day are a welcome cluster of holidays that make for a nice break from work at the end of the year.

So I'm not bothered that the holiday months seem to have lost whatever symbolic meaning they were supposed to have had.

The coal in my stocking is there because I'm tired of the pretending.

On TV, economists and news anchors try to predict what sort of impact Black Friday and holiday shopping will have on the national and local economies. 

In stores, merchants try to convince us that by visiting and buying something in their store, our hearts - and hearths - will be as warm as their window displays. 

At home many of us make lists, fret, budget and plan about the gifts we need to buy.

Whether it's on Snuggies or snack food, consumers are going to be spending in ways they probably wouldn't during the first 10 months of the year.

We are bombarded with messages from advertisers that we need to shop while our compunction drives us to the malls and outlet stores.

I'm not saying it's wrong. If people want to splurge and go into debt at the end of the year by spending their money, good luck to them. 

Somewhere along the way - and even at 40-something I'm too young to remember or know when it happened - the end of the year became more about consumerism than brotherhood or the celebration of light. 

So let's stop pretending that we're celebrating something other than our consumer culture. 

Let's embrace it instead. 

To hell with Christmas. And Hannukkah. And Kwanza. And even The Holidays.

Welcome Shopping Season. Merry Sales to you.

 


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