Angels We Have Heard on High, Tell Us To Go Out and Buy!

Well Happy New Year, hope the holidays were good, I’m not going to even think that they were restful. After all, whose Christmas holidays are? And as for the title of this post, no no no, I’m not funny enough to come up with that on my own. That was a stolen lyric from Tom Lehrer, and although he wrote that half a century ago, he’s still right. Here’s why.

I’m sitting down to eat and the news comes on. One story is about holiday spending, and how to pay off those holiday bills. Sure, Christmas is a bit expensive, but this was insane. The news reporter was telling people to get a loan to pay off all their bills and then their debt would be consolidated. That makes sense if you have a bunch of credit card debts accumulated over a long period of time or something. But this is *one* Christmas. Are people really spending themselves into this mess over one holiday? Sure it’s a time for giving, but within reason, people!

Then it got even better. The reporter was saying debt-ridden Christmas shoppers could use their houses as collateral! To this reporter, and to the people who might need to use this option I say, “Are you high?” If you’re spending money that you don’t have, to that level, perhaps little Billie doesn’t need 1000 action figures and little Suzy doesn’t need a zillion Malibu Barbie accessories. But ya know what they do need? A home! They’ll cry just as hard watching their parents pack their gifts into boxes and try to find a place to live as they would have if they had to find another place to live and didn’t have those things. But the likelyhood is without those things, they’d still have a home. Those new things aren’t going to make their lives better, in fact what parents are teaching them is that material things matter more than the basics of a stable life, and is that the lesson they really want to teach?

What in hell is wrong with us these days? Why can’t we be happy with what we’ve got? Why do we have to make it seem like we have more than we really do? Have we forgotten what Christmas really means? Christmas is about being with family and friends, finding things to make people happy, and they don’t have to be extravagant, and remembering the best part about us as human beings, our kind side. It’s not about how fast we can drive ourselves into the goddamn poorhouse!

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