Santa Is Coming, Let The Shameless Consumerism Begin

image Today is our annual Santa Claus Parade.  It will probably be a dismal disaster much like last years (the kids didn’t even want to wait around for Santa) but we are going any ways. 

With the official arrival of Santa comes the what I want for Christmas pitch.  You cannot watch tree house, or the toon network without being inundated with the latest piece of over priced plastic crap, that was probably made in a Chinese sweatshop. Ho Ho fucking Ho.  Retailers have already started to inform kids about products they didn’t even know that they wanted until the commercial promised them they would be happy, if only they could this plastic piece of crap.

I recently read that about FOX’s resident evil asshole, Bill O’Reilly complaining how the liberals have destroyed Christmas by making it all PC.  Yes saying happy holidays and acknowledging that not every single person you meet is Christian is somehow an affront to what has become nothing but a consumer extravaganza. 

What disgusts me each year is the way we put ourselves into debt becauseimage somehow the only way to show people we love them is to purchase items that they will forget about in less than six months.  I am not trying to be a scrooge here, but I am really starting to wonder about the message we are sending our children.  Show me you love me, buy me something doesn’t really feel like a celebration of anything other than capitalism.

The Christmas season is the only time Sick Kids has a waiting list to volunteer. Does it not occur to anyone else throughout the year that the season of giving should be continual?  Suddenly people have money to buy that homeless guy a coffee, though they walked by him in their nicely tailored suit for a year without ever acknowledging he was a human being.  The Project Share Bin gets filled because hey everyone should have one decent meal a year, and who cares if the rest of the year people donate by dropping off food that has collected dust in their cabinets that they have finally decided that they are not going to eat.  Christmas donating like this is giving yourself a cookie…you were great for one brief season so for the rest of the year you continue on ignoring the real struggle and plight of the working/underclass.

The unhusband and I have a rule, If five toys come in then they must donate 5 toys to our local brothers and sisters club.  I am trying desperately to keep a balance and remind the boys that this is about us being together as a family, but it seems since we are together daily as a family to them it is about the toys.  All of the lessons that we work all year to impart seem to go out the window the minute the man in red trolls into town with his reindeer. 

image He ho ho ho’s and jingle bells his way through the downtown core as people line up for free stale donuts and popcorn, but right after he pulls upstakes and returns to the North Pole, our sense of caring for those around us dissipates. Does anyone notice the end of the desire to give usually coincides with the arrival of the visa bill that lists the ways in which we have once again over indulged?  We claim that we have winter blues but I have the feeling that a good portion of that is shopping hangover and regret.  Even if you max out your credit cards you cannot make someone love you more.

As the unhusband and I struggle with the lessons we want to teach Destruction and Mayhem this season, I cannot help but be troubled by the fact that everywhere they turn they are given the message that the path to happiness is consumption.  I want my children to understand most of all that giving should not be something that we schedule on the calendar when we put up the Christmas Tree, but something we actively engage in because people matter 365 days a year.

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