As I write this, a local news anchor is finishing up an in-depth look at the much-ballyhooed Fiscal Cliff and managing to tease "Black Friday Deals after this commercial break!" Is there a "Segue For Dummies" book? I'd happily have a copy sent to this dope at the station, simultaneously calling it a Christmas gift and a day.
I am actually debating an I.O.U. as a gift for some people in my life this holiday season. How 'bout you?
There is a real disconnect involving unemployment (or, at the very least, loss of hours), less cash than ever, and yet every kid is making off with iPads, SmartPhones, Blu-Ray players, Kindles, kicks and more; every adult talks about "Secret Santa" scenarios but still piles on presents for besties, bosses and boyfriends. Just how bad can it be judging from the shopping sprees I am witnessing?
We use words like resilient, pragmatic, non-materialistic and yet we are, by and large, anything but. We COULD be. This is an opportunity to revisit the days when children woke up on Christmas morning to that one big present, that one thing they wanted so badly, that one gift that would define the holidays of their youth, used 'til it snapped under the pressure of much heart and handling. Our children hear us bemoan the economy every night at the dinner table, the bickering about bills, the post-election fatigue, but as far as they're concerned the gravy train is not short on gravy. The deadbeat relative who hasn't worked in 24 months and hasn't looked for work in 23, will still receive from their mom or dad or your spouse a veritable shopping cart full of goods. (See: http://jeannieinabottle.hubpages.com/hub/Stuff-You-Shouldnt-Say-If-Youre-Broke )
Resilient? Look for that in New Jersey or on Staten Island, post-Hurricane Sandy, where homes have washed away, comingling, for many, with the jobs that went out to seas months or even years before.
Pragmatic? Look for that through the window of the neighbor whose husband drops his wife off at work and picks her up too, that second vehicle deemed excessive at a time when so much is.
Non-materialistic? Don't make Santa laugh.