International Writers Magazine:
Christmas Gifts = Ebay
Christmas Shopping Evil?
frank and use no euphemisms: Christmas shopping is perverse. If
you think about it, the idea of actively searching for new things
to buy for people that dont need anything is really kind of
sick. Why do we force ourselves and more importantly, each
other to buy things we dont need and, lets face
it, probably dont even want? I dont have anything against
getting something nice for someone we love (including ourselves)
from time to time that is, as long as we still see an actual,
practical use in the item were buying, and know that it will
create a pleasant surprise for the person that receives it.
Sadly, there will never be any (positive) surprises on Christmas or birthdays.
Thats because there is no free will or spontaneity involved in trying
to assemble everyones gifts. We have to get them, and we have to
get them for this particular day. Just why again do we still bother? Id
really like to know.
Every year, its the same crap. Ill explain it as simply as
I can: we try to make everybody happy at a time when nobody could ever
be happy unless if everyone stopped buying presents and concentrated
on just being friendly and thoughtful to each other for a change. Isnt
that already hard enough? Personally, when I ponder about Christmas, I
come to think that its the attention to each others (real)
needs and interests that counts, and if we just thought about it for a
long, long enough time, wed realize that there are actually ways
of showing this attention other than by simply spending money on gifts.
I can already see them vividly, those masses of people running up and
down the High Street or the Mall a day or two before Christmas, shoving
and kicking each other out of their way with panic-stricken faces, nearly
suffering a heart attack imagining that they still need to buy presents
for ten more people. I can hear one lady thinking, "God, I wish I
knew how much Greg spent on my present, then I could finally make up my
mind about whether to get him that £70 perfume or the £400
" Hell, wouldnt that be a great premise for a new
TV drama? Meanwhile, in other parts of the world, millions of people are
worrying about such trivial things as how to get the next ration of food
for their children or where to find a safe place to sleep. If they only
knew the gravity of human concerns in our advanced Western world! Theyd
definitely think twice before complaining about issues as petty and tedious
as those they are dealing with in their pathetic little lives.
If anybody were interested in my opinion (which, sadly, theyre not),
my very wise suggestion would be: try and be generous in other ways for
once! Virtually anyone can spend money, even if they dont have any.
Just take a look at my Mastercard bill. Theres really nothing special
about spending money on other people, unless it was actual money given
to real people in need. But, obviously, nobody is interested in them.
Why would we? youll reply. We dont know
any of those people. I get it, youre too classy for that,
arent you? To be honest, I just think youre too busy making
yourself look generous and hoping your gift is more impressive than theirs...
© Lisa Timmermann Nov 19th 2007
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