Well its two days before Thanksgiving and all I seem to have been hearing from TV, Internet Advertisers, and the Media is: Early Black Friday sales are going on now!!!
Damn it! Guess were back to that most wonderful time of the year again! You know, the time of the year where you start to wonder if Credit Cards are made of some super heat resistant plastic, because they sure must rack up a lot of friction heat getting run through those damn card readers that many times.
Its not that I don't think that people should buy things. I mean lets face it an economy is based on us exchanging goods and services for money. If you all will recall, after 9/11 George W. was on TV urging Americans to keep spending What I can't stand is the barrage of advertisement and media blitz that seems to go on EVERY year trying to get us to buy more than we did the year before.
Look I'm not an idiot. I understand that the purpose of advertising is to get people to buy stuff. But it seems when it comes to the Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas (which shall hence forth be collectively known as: Caplitalismas since its one long shopping spree) things have gotten WAY out of control.
Do you realize that the number one thing that children 9 through 12 want this year is an iPad? AN iPAD! I mean good for Apple, but its completely ridiculous to think that a preteen needs to have a device that has more computing power that the original Apollo lunar module! And for what? So they can sit on Facebook, chat with friends, play video games, download iTunes, watch movies and download porn (if you think your 12 year old boy isn't going to do it if you give him free untethered access to the internet and an item he can lock himself in the bathroom with, I have some nice beach front property to sell you in Kansas.)? Is this really what you want for your kids? To become MORE antisocial? I mean if they have things like this are they even going to take part in the holidays? Are they going to want to talk to Grandma and listen to her stories if they can just tune out the world with a pair of white ear buds, uninterrupted Internet access, and an iTunes gift card?
Look I'm not anti-holidays, I am anti-commercializing holidays. Lets get back to the idea of spending time with each other, connecting with one another and listening. Lets not give gift cards because we can't think what to give someone, lets truly find something to give from the heart. It doesn't have to be a fancy gizmo, or glittery bobble. It can be something as simple as a letter. You know, a handwritten one, telling everyone what you've done this year. How the family is, what you're dreams and aspirations for the upcoming year yet and well wishes upon the recipient. It could be a home made dish, treat or meal. A set of photographs. You could give to charities on someones behalf or better yet offer to help out those less fortunate than you.
Bottom line is: don't fall for the hype.
Remember that Halloween (depending on the source) either derived from a Summer's End festival, or a roman festival to honor Pomona the goddess of fruit and seed, or a Roman festival to honor your ancestors. While Mars may have been a Roman god, I'm pretty sure there was no candy involved in these festivals. So why do you buy eighteen pounds of candy every year? And why are costumes involved? And lawn ornaments to make your yard look like a graveyard?
Remember that Thanksgiving is a harvest day festival. A day to express gratitude and appreciation to God, Friends and Family for all of the bountiful harvest your have been bequeathed during the last year in both material possessions, Love and relationships. I'm not really sure when watching three football games, slaughtering turkeys, stuffing yourself with food, arguing with family and getting all geared up to go out at 4am the day after to get those "Black Friday" deals came from. I am however quite certain that we have moved away from the original intent of the day.
Remember that Christmas is a day that is supposed to be set aside to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. You know, that guy that supposedly 76% of Americans believe is the son of God come down to teach us Love, Forgiveness and the way to Heaven? Lets forget for the moment that Jesus wasn't actually born on December 25th (That's going to be another blog post. Probably one where I'll manage to offend a few people) and try to remember that in the end thats the point of this holiday: Honoring a man central to a whole religion. Not destroying bank accounts, credit scores, or trampling people.
Remember these Holidays are for honoring important milestones of life! Not consuming like there is no tomorrow.