In these bleak economic times, with ever-more disturbing manifestations of consumerism and greed in the news, will this finally be the year that we confront our holiday consumption addiction? I’d hate to tell people to not spend money, spiraling the economy into a deeper dive, but something has got to give.
Every year my parents, my sister and I have bemoaned the harried overconsumption that engulfs us in the two weeks leading up to Christmas. We try to cut back on our shopping, but somehow, “more presents” has come to mean “more love.” Maybe it’s overcompensation for not buying enough gifts for each other throughout the year when we gorge at Christmas time. Every year, my mother says, this year we are going to cut back! We all know there’s something inappropriate about it now that the children are grown. We all know there is something a little weird about sending out our Christmas lists of wishes and wants in mid-December, but we—certainly I—just couldn’t stop doing it.