Sunday, November 26, 2006

Buy Buy American Pie

I was reading Nick's post about the seasonal consumer binge and "Buy Nothing Day". Then I pulled up an ABC Online video through Yahoo about "holiday rage". Now that's quite a term, isn't it? Nothing new, just a new buzzword for the rudeness, depression, and crass consumerism that overcomes people this season.

It's really a vicious cycle, isn't it? I mean, the only way to stop the insanity is to start with yourself, and stop participating in and supporting the things you hate. We have gotten much better over the years but are still not guilt-free. Even though I don't personally celebrate Christmas or any other holiday in December, I am trapped in the cycle. There is a very small number of people who we exchange gifts (and/or cards) with this month, mostly Mr. B's family and friends, and one mutual friend.

On Black Friday we didn't exactly "buy nothing". We went to an indie record store and bought 3 CDs, 2 copies of one released that day and one that was released earlier in the week... soooo, yes, even though we supported no chain stores we actually "bought something" including one gift. We always give our friend in Wyoming a copy of the KGSR Broadcast CD that's released on the day after Thanksgiving. He can't get it up there unless he does mail order and we are happy to provide -- besides it keeps us in touch with him -- it forces us to write each other once a year. (Besides, the proceeds go to charity) So we always send him that, plus a little something for his cat, and he does the same for us.

As for Mr. Bs family, we have established a tradition of sending them something we created through Cafepress. In past years, it's been coffee mugs with our picture on them. This year it's even better, it's a calendar so there's even more pictures of us!! Oh joy!! What's not to like about that!?! It's also even better because they can throw it away at the end of next year without feeling guilty (not so with a coffee mug). heh heh... Also, it's easier than knitting everyone a butt-ugly sweater that doesn't even fit. (Riiight, as if I knit!!! Haven't ever knitted anything more complicated than a belt.) A personalized item from Cafepress will cost probably $10-$20 depending on what it is, and people aren't satisfied with a gift like that, then I have to wonder what they think all this gift-giving frenzy is really about. If people are using each other to get stuff, that is a sick and dysfunctional situation.

But to get back on track of the original subject, this whole cycle of ugly consumerism will not slow down until each person participates in slowing it down. It doesn't have to stop, it just needs to become sane again.

And puh-lease don't try telling me it's about the baby Jesus. That's been debunked. And if it's about baby Jesus for you, why not help out some needy people instead of trying to impress someone who doesn't need anything? You can't buy love. Never could.

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BBC said...

I bought myself a new camera (a one day only sale) and that will be the sum total of my Christmas shopping this year.

Well, I will be sending a few checks to help others eat, maybe live another day, if they actually get the food.

pissed off patricia said...

We did not shop on Friday but it wasn't because of the protest. I knew nothing of the protest until today. I must admit we have gone to the mall on other black friday's just to people watch. It's like watching hampsters in cages. Everyone is running around and looking so freakin' stressed.

We will get gifts for Mr Pop's family and that's about it other than the gifts we give one another. I send special donations to two charities. One of them gives a place to stay to poor people who are dying of AIDS and the other is about caring for homeless animals.

Blueberry said...

Good for ya'll. Sounds like you've got your heads on straight. People-watching is fun too. We don't get each other gifts, and if we did, the wad would already be shot for the year for home improvements, taxes, and now cat health care. And then there's my health care which will be taking the back burner.

Undeniable Liberal said...

It's quite enlighteneing to that Black friday activities are the highlite of most coworkers conversations today. It's nothing but sheeple behavior, and as we say in the undeniable liberal household, "if everybody else is doing it, we aren't because it must be stupid."

Anonymous said...

Blueberry, I simply cannot fathom you knitting. Does.Not.Compute. However, the idea of personalizing something from CafePress is a marvelous idea.
Hope your feline crew is doing better this morning.

Blueberry said...

HCG, I actually learned to knit belts many years ago, belts because they are just uncomplicated long rectangles. I also did a lot of sewing and even macrame. That was before the internet. heh heh.

Sounding like an old codger, "sonny, when I was your age, we amused ourselves by tying knots! And we LIKED it!". ;-)

FreakyNick said...

woo-hoo. I'm flattered, blue.

Last year my daughter gave me a personalized calendar, with pictures of my granddaughters for the different months. I loved that!

Give Duncan a hug for me.