Christmas has brought nothing but turmoil to my house. I can’t stand this holiday at all. I know you might be curious, then why do I do a toy and clothing drive each year? I’ll explain it, but I warn you this is going to be a long post. So if you REALLY want to know read on, otherwise just call me a grinch and have a wonderful holiday.
You see, for many years now I have railed against this holiday. Long before the Christmas Resistance Movement and before Rev. Billy Talen‘s movie What Would Jesus Buy, I have had a huge disdain for the practices of this up coming holiday. I enjoy the spirit, goodwill towards man and all that. It’s just every thing else I despise.
It’s a huge waste of money for one. Between decorations, presents, meals, travel and wrapping supplies the average american spends between $800 to $935. Those numbers come from a search I did via google, According to the American Consumer Credit Council that is. I’d say that’s a fair amount. Sure they may be wrong, but if I had to guess I’d have picked about $1000. This is also all told….remember I said between all the trimmings and gifts.
The holiday is about family, ok so for some of you who don’t see each other all year I can see traveling and doing dinner. An acceptable expense considering how lives can move in different directions. My family is small, it’s my wife, my son, my mother and my younger brother. We try to invite my grandmother, but she is old and seems like she is ready to be rid of all of us since grandpa died. She is still sweet and loving, don’t get me wrong or anything. It’s just you can see she misses him and is ready to go, check out, stiff someone with the tab and vamoose. We have invited her over and we have offered to do it there. To no avail, but we keep trying.
The rest of our family we don’t speak to for various reasons, we tried to make things work and we weren’t successful. It happens. Our friends all have lives and families of their own so even they are absent, but know I am not trying to say they forget about us or anything cray like that. What I am getting at is that there is no big gather of people, it the 5 of us 7 days a week and 365 days a year. There is nothing special about getting together.
No we factor in presents, we don’t need things. People…as much I dislike most of society…are what you need most. Presents are wholly unnecessary. Doesn’t matter if you bought locally or not. Which I do suggest you do if you HAVE to get something. Buying things we don’t need has gotten this country into so much fucking trouble. Our economy is in the crapper because of those actions taken by the ones in charge of things. Spend spend has gotten us into debt debt.
All of your purchases funnel back to corporate interests. Nothing is made in America, so you’re not even supporting America corporate interests. They have essentially become their own entity, devoid of nationality or race. I don’t believe in supporting them any longer. They have twisted and bent this country into doing what they say when they say it. Every day you’re sold something. Whether you turn on the tv, go for a drive or surf the internet. You are inundated with ads trying to get you to open your wallet and more often than not, most of the items are bad for you or inferior items. Worse yet poisonous when you start talking about fast food ads.
I am sick of being a consumer. There are some things you just can get away from, but beyond what you need why not send a clear message. We aren’t buying it anymore! Put your money where your mouths are and stop feeding the beast.
Well, this idea has nearly leveled the House of Odd. Liz and I have been at each others throats about this Christmas. At current total, she has spent 300+ dollars on primarily the boy. I freaked! We aren’t bad off, our bills are paid and such, but the idea of dropping $300 for no good reason on one person is astronomical! She said she worries that the boy will be disappointed if we did things my way. One gift, that’s it. I say if he is, then we did something wrong as parents in raising him.
I want to put my money where my mouth is and not spend one red cent this Christmas. I want to use my wallet to cast a vote for the things I believe in. It’s what I have yammerd on about these last few seasons on the shows. To do anything other than what I have proposed on air feels hypocritical and to me drops my credibility. I have broken free of the preprograming, to believe that things measure a value of love is absurd.
She asked me if I believe this so adamantly, then why do I bother with the toy drove? Since the money all funnels back to the same giants. Good question, and here is an even better answer. Because the kids I am helping, don’t have even a third of the things my son does. Granted the boy doesn’t get things throughout the year, unless it’s his birthday or he saves up for them. Even then, he has a happier life than probably a lot of the kids we’re helping. These kids, through not fault of their own, were given a raw deal. Maybe their parents are doing the best they can or maybe their parents are scum and waste dollar after dollar. I don’t know, but what I do know is that the smiles they get from strangers giving them presents could very well be the only smiles they get all year.
My son has two parents who love him deeply and who are happily married, he has a roof, toys, clothes and food. He doesn’t go hungry or have to wear hand me downs. He can play games and video games, watch movies and play on our laptops. In my eyes, he wants for nothing. Those kids receiving gifts, can’t say the same always.
For Liz there are emotions and sentimental feelings tied into it. She lost her mom at a really young age and well all she has is her memories of holidays with her mom. She said she wants to create memories with our son, but I don’t see good memories as having to be created. They happen naturally, and it’s usually the effortless moments that are the most indelible. Most of you that read this blog and listen to the show know, I am not a very sentimental man. I put little stock in feelings or emotions. I rely on logic and reason to see me through and to me with no family to gather with and with no real reason to spend money on people, I just feel it’s pointless to partake in a holiday that if forced down our throats earlier and earlier each year. A holiday that goads people into plunking down (collectively) 54 Billion dollars in one day (black friday) to celebrate a religiously based holiday. Especially if you aren’t religious. It’s utter madness.
What really drove this home was last year, we got the boy two things he so desperately wanted. They both had sat for the majority of the year after Christmas. They both got donated to the toy drive this year. It was a waste, you could have better spent that money by going to a local arcade or something. You’d have about the same amount of fun and have the same to show for it after….nothing.
I want nothing, absolutely fucking nothing for Christmas this year. I take that back, I want to abstain from this atrocious season all together. Thanksgiving and Christmas go uncelebrated and unnoticed for all I care. Save your money and pay your bills ahead a bit, or save for a rainy day when the tire blows or something. Anything is better than buying stuff nobody needs. NEEDS Vs. WANTS and wants should NEVER win. You need people, not things. And for you smart-ass types that say a house is a thing…a car is a thing….and so on, fuck off and quit being contrary for contrary’s sake.
So when you see an angry post from me, bitching about the holiday season. Don’t just roll your eyes and walk away. THINK, is it worth it? Am I just being ridiculous or are you? Because my way saves money and is the responsible thing to do. Responsibility is something we need to teach the younger generations, we can’t expect them to make a better go of running the world if we never show them how. Oh and The holidays can be about more than just gifts. Take the gifts out of it and show them what it’s really all about.