On the way home from work today, leaving early in fact, I was shocked to see mall traffic backed up on the freeway for several miles. It's the day before Thanksgiving. Some stores will be open either early in the morning tomorrow, or in the evening. And of course, you know how Friday will be. Oh, and you know how long Christmas decorations have been up in stores.
I'm trying very hard to understand what's going on here. There's allegedly an awful mood in the country as unemployment has stalled out, and yet economists are predicting a 15% boost in holiday spending over last year. I don't remember any time in my life where the "mood" and the numbers didn't match up with the actions of folks.
But even if everything was superawesome, both in perception and reality, the thing I understand the least is why hoards of people are interested in going to stores at insane times, to stand in line, to push people out of the way (Merry fucking Christmas!) to buy... anything. What's worth that, for yourself or as a gift? Is your life measurably better for it, at the expense of your dignity and the things that the season are supposed to stand for?
If it weren't asinine enough, a lot of the big ticket items you can buy end up being things they have quantity three of, so you invest this stupid time for nothing. It's consumerism at its worst.
I like shiny objects. There are a select few categories of toys that I enjoy having. However, it's not worth compromising my humanity and dignity to buy anything under those circumstances. If the deal is so good that I couldn't afford it otherwise, I don't need it. I certainly don't have to sell my soul to get it.
I don't care about the weird consumerism bastardizing the "reason for the season." I'm tired of hearing from people who rant about others "trying to take the Christ out of Christmas" when it isn't Christmas that everyone celebrates this time of year. It's not going to mean anything less to you just because someone else is celebrating Hanukkah or the Muslim New Year. Settle down. What I do care about is that all of the religious occasions involve celebrations of family, peace and generally fuzzy feelings. Pushing people out of the way at Best Buy for a TV is not that.