WHAT IF THEY HAD CHRISTMAS AND NOBODY CAME?

Two things I’ve noticed in the last few weeks:

1. The Christmas hype has been even hypier than usual, reaching a fever pitch at the beginning of the month and going up from there. “IT’S NOT TOO LATE! GET YOUR LAST MINUTE GIFTS HERE!” the mail order catalogs screamed on December 1st. Since when is that last minute? The desperation of the retailers is palpable.

2. There’s a backlash. People are opting out. The streets around here are mostly dark… few have gone to the trouble to decorate the outsides of their houses. A few years ago there were so many Christmas tree lots I could walk to several from my front door. Yesterday we had to drive for miles to find one. News reports indicate that holiday spending has been tepid.

Could we have finally maxed out on Christmas? Have we reached the point where the culture is so oversaturated with obligatory merriment that a rebellion of sorts has begun? Financially strapped families who have yet to reap the benefits of the alleged economic recovery may have elected to use their scarce resources wisely… more food, less glitz. The hypocrisy inherent in the commercial bombardment in conjunction with a holy day may have final pushed us over the tipping point. Christmas is no longer cool.

AND ALSO

Those of you who have been reading me for awhile have heard me talk about my dear husband, Technogeek. Well it turns out somebody on Xanga uses that handle, and it is definitely not my husband. So I’ll have to call him (my husband) something else, even though Technogeek describes him very well. And I wasn’t supposed to tell you, but he started a blog here. For some reason he’s shy about it, even though he’s not shy at all in person. I’m just the opposite… very shy in real life but a big mouth online. Strange, that.

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27 thoughts on “

  1. I just cannot do Christmas this year. All the gifts are taken care of, but I have been putting off wrapping those other than my children’s. Our Christmas tree is not up, we decided we would put it up Christmas Eve night while the kids are asleep. LazyHusband doesn’t want to go to his parent’s on Christmas Eve night – he would rather just come home and open our gifts. I am sick of Christmas shows and when someone tells me Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas in the store, I glare at them. Yep, it is time to rise up and rebel over the season that is suppose to be about giving and not receiving but has become so capitalized it makes people feel sour in their stomachs and their souls dim a bit.

  2. ryc: That is the truth. :)I think people are burned out because the whole hype starts too early. I remember seeing stuff in the stores in OCTOBER. Cmon now! I was out shopping for Halloween stuff and saw ornaments in the aisles. What’s up with that??? 😛

  3. Yep, I agree with the comment above.   I was seeing Christmas stuff before Halloween and hearing the blasted music way before Thankgiving….it is just too much.  Since when did Christmas have to be all about buying crap?

  4. i left him a message my dear. and thank you for absolving me. I was worried. Man, I feel like CRAP TODAY!  and about Christmas… you may be right. Almost no one decorated their house. But Christmas, to me, has always been highly anticipated and, admittedly, purchase driven, but I only spend about $350 on EVERYONE total. I spend at least $80 on wrapping paper, ornaments and other useless baubles to wrap their dollar-store gifts in, but that is neither here nor there. I am a big Christmas wrapping fan. The one time of the year I get to over wrap things and it doesn’t turn into some gay looking purple people eaters. Gay isnt the right term anymore. Habits are damn hard to break. FRUITY wrapping job, then.

  5. I noticed #2 here as well.  Usually there are tons of Christmas lights to see outside, but not this year.  Even our neighbors, who go all out every year, just put their outside decorations up this past week!  Kinda makes me sad b/c that is one of the fun things about Christmas–riding around in the cold and looking at decorations!
    ~MERRY CHRISTMAS!~Hope Wilbankshttp://www.hopewilbanks.com/http://www.motherdevoted.com/

  6. I was definitely having my own personal Christmas rebellion this year (just put up a tree yesterday).  We don’t have any $ this year.  What’s new?– well, less than usual, even, so the commercialism is particularly off-putting.  I got each of the kids three presents (small ones), but the cool part is that I know they’ll still be thrilled.  Then, of course, they’ll get more stuff at the Grandmas’ houses.

  7. Not that strange.  I’m shy in person and a big mouth online.  Well, actually, I’m pretty loud in person, but I’m shy on the inside.  🙂
    My husband has toyed with the idea of starting a blog.  I would just LOVE it if he did it.  He found mine, so it’s not a secret anymore…it’s only fair that I should get to read HIS inner thoughts as well.
    Ah, the Christmas backlash.  It’s been a long time coming. 

  8. I’m like your husband. The few folks who have met me in person are amazed at how quiet I am.
    I agree on the Christmas post and have noticed much the same at my neck of the woods. The parking lots at Wal-marts and the malls are not nearly as full as they usually are 6 days before Christmas. I wondered if it might be the availability of online shopping. But yes, I think starting the Christmas rush weeks before Halloween is over, serves to make folks plain sick of the buy buy buy mentality. The merchants should have left a good thing (for them) well enough alone.

  9. Hmmm, I have noticed this too. Not nearly as many lights this year. Even the ones the HOA puts up in the neighborhood are more low-key. I think the tree lot thing though is because people have no problem going to the grocery store or Walmart for their tree instead of a over-priced tree lot. I have had trouble getting into the spirit, what with the lack of spousal job and all, so I kind of just thought it was me. But maybe it is a more prevalent phenomenon.

  10. Hmmmm…you should see my street.  I think that it can be seen by satellites!  PSE & G (Public Service Gas & Electric) is probably having a huge holiday celebration.  (Can we say “Ka-ching!”)
    But I do agree, even though the mall was nutso, it wasn’t quite as nutso as it used to be.  But almost.  (However ToysRUs here was INSANE – so even if the grown-ups aren’t exchanging lots of expensive gifts with one another, they sure are buying stuff for their kids.)

  11. I was just wondering if everyone is paying the kind of crazy electric rates we are – we’ve got some nice new “excessive fuel cost surcharge” which I think means that the electric co. doesn’t like the gas prices any more than I do but I get to pay for them 3x: at the pump, when they fill my oil tank, AND in my electric bill. Doesn’t exactly make me want to rush out and add flashy lights to the bill. Bah-humbug!

  12. I managed to spend exactly $24.78 this Christmas.  And half of that was on postage.  Hooray!  I like the idea of the Christmas backlash.  And, anyone who uses the term “tipping point” correctly also scores points with me.

  13. I’m with you on Christmas.  I’ve definitely seen a decline in the overt, superficial celebration of the holiday.  I have seen more people in the spirit and celebrating in their own way, but the commercialism has definitely taken a hit.  It’s a good thing, if you ask me.  I think if more people celebrate the holiday in ways that are special and meaningful to them, and not in the way the Corporate World tells them will be meaningful, the Christmas season will regain some of the integrity it has lost. 
    I haven’t noticed that the hype has been more than usual.  Of course, with no T.V. and spending most of my time between work, food, and sleep, I suppose I did miss most of it. 

  14. Yes, the Christmas hype. Because I live within walking distance from a major shopping mall I have to deal with tons of Christmas shoppers on the road when I have to drive past the mall to get my local grocery store. I’ve now resorted to driving an extra five miles taking back roads to SAVE TIME going from my place to the grocer. It’s that bad.
    You’re right about Comment 2. I read yesterday that although the post-Thanksgiving Day sales were a mad day of spending across the nation, overall sales were tepid at best. This year I’ve opted out of the Christmas more than I’ve done in the past. No tree, no decorations, no presents bought… well, not yet anyways. The gifts I’ll give will be simple and I hope received more thoughtfully by the recipients.
    As for our online vs. face-to-face personas. I’m more like you in that I’m more reserved in person.  

  15. I’ve noticed the same around here.  My husband is a big kid and loves to decorate, and since my son’s birthday is Christmas Day, he gets a kick out of us telling him that we do the decorating for that. 
    We’re definitely spending MUCH less this year than years past–it’s about the same for most people that I know.
    I’m very shy in real life, too.  I’m not sure how I seem on my blog though, but I definitely can’t pull off too much of an “in your face” persona.

  16. Well, I personally won´t be having Christmas this year; this more to do with circumstances than choice, but last year I chose not to celebrate it, because I thought it was trivial and stupid. After a break, maybe I´ve re-found the point, as I maybe just miss my family and wish to see them, the tradition (could be any tradition) being the safe stage?
    Maybe we should all have a break from Christmas, just once, to rediscover the meaning, and why we do it at all? I can promise that it won´t be the presents, the tree and the plastic decoration you´ll miss.

  17. Thanx for the comment ;o)
    Thats my grandson in that picy *PRoud* haha
    I  still have the Christmas spirit ;o)
    My house is decked out and i have lights outside.
    I didnt see one Christmas tree lot here??
    I had to buy my tree at Home depot…whats up with that??
    I hope ppl go back to remembering what Christmas is all about and Stop hyping it to extremes.

  18. I reached my own personal tipping point years ago.  I do not enjoy the manic quality the advertising geniuses (genii?) have given this season.  They’ve dipped it, saturated it, twisted it.  You’re right, not many lights out there this year.  I do have my apartment balcony decorated, however, because the pretty colors are one of the few things I do like this time of year.  My oldest daughter came over and put up my tree, as well, or it probably would still be in the box.  Natural trees, alas, are gone with the asthma.
    My youngest, however, sees only the magic.  For her, I decorate.  For her, the cookies get made.  Also for her, I light menorah candles and we fracture Hebrew together.  She erupts in joy at each present, and never sits there pining over what she didn’t get.  She’s the best example of what it is all about.  She is my wonderful little pure being of light.
    S2

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