Saturday, December 26, 2009

Something to Think About Next Christmas

On December 24th, the New York Times ran an article by Hilary Stout titled “No, No, No to the Ho-Ho-Ho”. It was about people who had decided to op out of the Christmas frenzy. Or, as Richard Laermer said, “WWBJD (What would Baby Jesus Do)? Sit it out.” This isn’t a new idea, but it hit a nerve this year with money so tight, credit card interest rates sky-high, and people in a cold sweat about how long they might have a job...if they had a job at all. Dan Nainan said getting a tree was the first problem, “You cut down a tree and you’re going to throw it out in three weeks. If you get a plastic tree, you’re wasting petroleum.” Then came the gifts. Nainan said, “I think it’s great that people are going out and buying things and helping the economy, but when a Wal-Mart employee can be trampled to death in a manic dash for holiday bargains, as happened last year, that kind of crystallized everything for me.” Some people said they had decided to skip all of the Christmas nuttiness and “take a holiday from the holiday”. They were driving to the mountains to go for a hike. It’s something to think about. Is the holiday whirl a lot fun? Is it costing more than we can afford? Does the birth of Jesus Christ have a lot to do with our Christmas festivities? Does Christ have anything to do with Christmas? Pepper Hill, a 50-year-old voice-over actress, said she wondered if she’d have the nerve to say no to the whole holiday. She had only been going through the motions for the past several years, she said. Could she have done with it? No tree, no carols, none of “the whole nine yards”? She did. It was very liberating, she said. Probably avoiding the whole holiday scene is easier than just cutting back. What do you cut back on? Who do you cut out? Where do you draw the line? For starters, making December 10th the beginning of the Christmas season instead of the day after Labor Day would be a good first step to saying no-n0-no to the ho-ho-ho.

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