In his latest post, Eric Klingenberg explains “I can no longer get excited about Christmas. I hate the adverts, the pressure to spend money people don’t have. The disappointment for kids whose parents can only afford clothes as Christmas presents and not the latest consul they been seeing on T.V. since October.”
I live in one of those mixed counties where some have plenty and some cannot get by. Where having food on the table over the weekends is a struggle and where buying clothes is an absolute luxury. And then there are those who whine when they do not get the latest game or chip operated-noise making-toy.
Every year, we get snowed under with requests for donations and fundraisers. Every year they seem to get more aggressive. It used to be “any donation” is welcome. Now there is a suggested donation circled and some even have the audacity to present you with just one option of $100.– I received an envelope with in red on the front “Was it something we said?” reminding me that it is really time for me to give again. And this sincerely pi**** me off.
I am not stingy at all. I give often and a lot. I don’t expect a red carpet treatment but maybe a little understanding that those of us who still give (and yes, I could also choose not to donate at all) can get tapped out too.
Eric discusses the social pressures involved as well and he is right. Decorating doesn’t seem optional anymore. In some areas it is the norm. Trees go up even before the turkey has been killed, Santa’s photography workshops are in full swing before December has even started, and the laziest of radio stations start earlier each year to expose you to a continuous loop of jingle bells related bliss.
Holidays are commercial events. The expectations are there. You can come all the way from another continent bearing the costs of airline tickets during the most expensive time of the year (not to mention the hassle of travel, delays, and cancellations), hotels, a rental car, and more and still face the expectation of yet more.
I am going to follow Eric’s example now. I will shut up and mosey on over to the Merlot and brie on toast.