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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #70: Holiday Rant

Thirteen Holiday Rants

I know, it's rant week in Danicaland. For those of you who are new to the party, you might think I'm an angry gal. Sometimes, I am. Sometimes, I am not. This week, however, I definitely am. So here's my rant about the holidays.

1. Commercialism. Please don't make me say more. We'll be here a month.

2. Guilt Charities. Bear with me on this one. I heard a commercial the other day that basically said, while you're enjoying your tasty Thanksgiving dinner, people in your community are starving. First, the guilt thing irritates me. Who are you to judge me for enjoying a dinner that you know nothing about how I got it? The second part of my irritation is #3:

3. Increased holiday charity. I have nothing against charity. I donate to a number of them myself. But why is it that we basically only care that there are starving people twice a year? Are they not hungry the other 363? Here's a thought... give on those other days too.

4. Starbucks Red. My friend Jonathan talked about this, and the more I think about it, the madder I get. Basically, for every cup of certain drinks you buy for them, they donate five cents to help AIDS in Africa. Yes, I think it's great that they're doing something. But come on! Five Cents? Starbucks is still making a profit on this. And I'm sure lots of people are going to buy these drinks just because of the charitable benefit, which means Starbucks is going to make even more money. Out of that profit, AIDS victims in Africa get five cents. Sorry, but I'm not impressed. Great idea, but it's a little sad that Starbucks is using AIDS victims as their poster child to make a bigger profit.

5. Black Friday. Sort of a catch 22 here, but we've heard all the economic reports on how stores need to do well tomorrow to stay afloat. How many of the folks waiting in line to get in at 4 a.m. can really afford to buy all the junk these stores are hawking? Is the solution to the economic crisis really that we should encourage folks to spend more money they don't have?

6. Fruitcake. Does anyone know what those red and green things even are? Seriously, folks. I had two people bring that nasty stuff to my house for Thanksgiving, bragging about the recipe. And then they had the nerve to leave it here when they left. I'm thinking they didn't really like it and were pawning it off on me.

7. Toy Commercials. I need to figure out how to get my cable turned off for a month only so that the kids can only watch DVDs and I'm not subjected to more "buy me junk I don't need" whines. No one needs a child-size battery operated horse. No one.

8. Too many Christmas lights. Call me Grinch here, but #1, we're in an energy crisis. Why are we using so much electricity? #2, while I actually do think they're pretty, and will eventually have some on our tree when I put it up, is there a reason the guy down the block needs to light up the entire neighborhood? It's almost creepy, the way I can sit in the dark, in my own house, and have it brightly lit up.

9. Holiday mailers. They're worse than the political ones. So basically, because they're in a financial trouble, retailers are cutting down more trees, using more ink, and spending more money to convince me to buy more junk I don't need.

10. Useless junk. We have too much of it. If you think you might like some useless junk, please visit my basement or garage. I would be happy to give you some, and you won't even have to pay for it.

11. Crowded stores. I recognize the fact that I will have to buy a few gifts. Although, for the most part, I either have finished my shopping or I know what I'm buying. I think I've mentioned that I'm slightly agoraphobic, so I really hate dealing with all the people. I know, shop online, but I still like touching and feeling the stuff. Weird. Touchy feely as long as it's not people touching me.

12. Holiday shoppers. This is a different category... You're in the store, looking at the only appropriate shirt in your daughter's size (my kids need clothes this year), and some rabid beast, grabs it out of your hand because she wants it, and as she's headed off in victory, says over her shoulder in a cheery holiday voice, "Have a Merry Christmas!" Do not play holiday cheer with me, crazy lady.

13. The whole holiday attitude. Back to Ms. Cheer... People are either unusually grumpy (because Ms. Cheer spat in their eggnog) or they're a million times more cheerful than they are any other time of the year (maybe it's the eggnog). We smile at the Salvation Army bellringer, but we cuss out the jerk who stole our parking spot. We joyfully welcome guests to our holiday parties, but we spent the whole time getting ready yelling at our children and spouses. We'll throw a toy from the dollar store in the toys for tots bin, but get our kids name brand stuff.

I guess what my whole rant boils down to is the showmanship the holidays tends to bring out in us. We want to make people think we're so great, and we never show the real us.

Is there anything wrong with giving to charity? No. And I hope you do. But why does it have to take so much effort to get us to do it?

Is there anything wrong with being nice to folks and wishing them a Merry Christmas? No. And I hope you do. But why aren't we that nice to everyone, all the time?

And lest you think I'm some self righteous pig who thinks I have it all figured out, I do a lot of the things that I'm ranting about. I spent a lot of time today telling myself I couldn't yell at my hubby who was doing everything wrong, even though he was trying to help, and I needed to appreciate him more. Did I succeed? I don't know. I do know that God rescued me with a phone call from a friend who wanted to make a Starbucks run. Otherwise, I might have been pretty darn mean to that great guy I married because I was stressed out that we had people coming over and he wasn't doing things "right." And maybe I was still mean. He reads my blog, so maybe he'll tell you. And maybe he'll just tell me. Either way, I have a lot to work on.

This holiday season, it's not going to be about the stuff for me. I'm really looking forward to clearing out the stuff and making a little more room in my heart.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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Thorne said...

Rant on, baby!!! Yee haw, I freaking love it!! it's the kind of rant I might have done had I more time. Stop by and visit my Black Friday/Don't shop TT! LOL Adding you to my must read blogs.

Barbara said...

I don't get the fruit cake thing either. Why do people actually make that stuff? No one seems to like it. My mom still brings out my Grandmother's "Christmas Pudding" every year and every years is surprised when so much of it is left.