The Holiday Hustle Hassle
I still remember how I used to love Christmas. That’s really amazing considering how bad my memory is and how long it’s been since the sight of tinsel and holly and the sound of Jingle Bells have made me joyous instead of nauseous.
Looking back, I think the magic disappeared just about the time the big kids told me there was no Santa Claus. Even at that tender age, my precocious little mind must have deduced that if Santa didn’t bring all those swell presents, someone sure as heck had to go out and buy them. Goodbye Ho, Ho, Ho! Hello, Boo Hoo, Hoo!
Since then, Christmas shopping has become my second least favorite activity (the first is having a root canal); and it gets progressively worse each year as it becomes increasingly harder to figure out what to buy people that (1) they would like, and (2) they haven’t already bought a more expensive version of for themselves. Which is a pretty revealing indication of how paradoxical our society is — though everyone complains about how tough it is to make ends meet, most of the complaining seems to be done either behind the wheel of one of the two (or more) family cars, or in front of the 42-inch plasma TV, and usually by people who have a weight problem caused by an overabundance of rich food and drink.
As for the children, we’ve all heard stories from the old folks of how they used to be beside themselves with joy if they found so much as an orange, instead of a lump of coal, in their Christmas stockings. Today it’s not so easy to please a kid. Unless the eight-foot tree is completely hidden behind a pile of bionic, electronic, computerized, overautomated and overpriced toys that cost more than you used to have to spend to furnish an entire house (real, not doll), they start reading you their Constitutional rights. (They interpret the dictum that “all men are created equal” to mean they should get as many expensive presents as the spoiled rich brat across town.) Yep, things sure have changed. The only way an orange would please a child today would be if he got to pick it himself from a tree growing in Disneyland.
As for the kids on my list, all the little boys already own everything from mini sports cars (guaranteed not to exceed thirty miles per hour for safety reasons) to back-yard tree houses with indoor plumbing. And the girls are all flying to Paris with their parents regularly to replenish their Barbie dolls’ wardrobes at Christian Dior.
Read the rest of Rose Madeline Mula's classic holiday article ... http://www.seniorwomen.com/articles/rose/articlesRoseHoliday.html
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