You know that neighbor who bought a new 33-foot Sea Ray yacht last
year, even though he only makes minimum wage at the local taco shop?
He's to blame for the financial crisis. And your buddy Ed who owns five
plasma HD TVs, one for each room (including the bathroom) of his modest
apartment? He's also to blame for the financial crisis. And your sister
Carla who owns a different pair of designer boots for every potential
weather condition. Yup, it's her fault too.
Where are we going with all of this? One of the South Park kid's dad explains...
Yesterday was perhaps the best Christmas I've ever experienced as an adult. Ever since I left childhood behind, I've found the excessive consumerism that Christmas encourages to be depressing -- frankly, nauseating. This year, thanks to the economic downturn and other family circumstances, we decided to drop all of it, except the tree. We had a gift ban for the extended family afar -- which is something we've tried before, with only limited success -- AND for the immediate family in Boston (excepting the elderly matriarch). So, except for a few modest items for her, the space around the tree was bare, instead of covered with unneeded, unwanted crap, spilling many feet into the room inside nicely wrapped boxes.
It was the best Christmas ever. We had a nice family dinner on Christmas eve (a schedule dictated by a visiting brother's scheduled departure mid-day Christmas), and Christmas day itself was calm, quiet, and free of the revulsion that I usually have felt, surveying all the waste and unbridled consumption.