Were it not for Christmas, we hear constantly, many retailers would not make it through a year. The exploited workers of China, whom we have increasingly employed since local manufacturing jobs became of secondary concern to our finding cheap goods, now make most of our clothes and gadgets (luxury and otherwise). Their jobs are secure with our collective indebtedness to their freedom-trampling government for our closer-to-home purchases of the necessities of war or war readiness.
From “Black Friday” until Boxing Day there are reports of people fighting – fighting and worse – over gifts in high demand.
Did I mention it is Christmas? Oh yes, right up there with retail survival.
Peace on Earth. Good will. The joy of giving.
Until my niece and nephew either wise up or admit that they know better the rest of the family continues to buy them gifts as if Santa Claus himself can’t manage that himself. Ingenious as they are in every other way, I believe that we are being taken for fools for at least one more year. We’re okay. They’re still kids after all. They have each shunned birthday party gifts for food bank donations at least once, their status as perfect kids in my books never in doubt.
For the rest of us, for many years we drew names thereby buying and receiving only one Christmas present to a value of no more than $50. I cannot tell you how sane this made the holiday season, rarely stepping inside a store.
When Craig died we decided to donate those fifty dollar amounts, at least, to his memorial fund. It is a fund to which anyone can contribute.
There’s one tradition we carry on as well, or better, than even the most extravagant families – we eat a lot! No thanks to me, except for washing dishes, Mom oversees a few pretty amazing meals, with others pitching in with food contributions or some heavy lifting of the turkey. Although I know Mom puts a lot of thought and work into meals, and bakes well ahead of the holidays, I don’t think she’d have it any other way.
In a world where many go without so much, and others work so hard for so little for our material wealth, I appreciate the degree of sanity our family brings to Christmas.