Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Freedom From The Present

I come from a very large family, with nine siblings, most of whom eventually gained spouses and had children.   Being a fairly close family who mostly live in close proximity that quickly necessitated that we cut down on the present buying or making stuff at the massive family Christmas party which is a tradition for us.   We drew a name from the list of those who wanted to participate and gave one gift at the party.   The sense of relief for everyone involved when we first started doing that was enormous.  There was also a price limit on how much the present was supposed to cost to keep any sense of competitive giving out of it.

As time went on and nieces and nephews began to form alliances, marriages and may-as-well be marriages, with children, some inherited from their partners' previous relationships, things got a bit attenuated.  Several years ago, after there were too many names on the list who I had to ask who they were, having never seen them, I opted out, so I only bring something to share to the party and enjoy the company, which is the point of the thing.   The freedom from the present opening part of it has been an enhancement of the enjoyment of the occasion.  Since then a couple of others have opted out.  Maybe, with time, the whole present exchange will go away and it will just be a family Christmas Party.

I don't get presents at Christmas and don't give any to anyone I know.  I also don't give much in the way of donations at Christmas, I wait till all of that rush is over so as to not burden the people in non-profit groups that have to deal with the onslaught of donations at that one time of the year.  February, I'd guess, would be a good time for that.  I know enough about food banks to know they'd rather get money than cans of stuff, at least that's what the people I know who work in them say.

All of this leads up to this outrageous video that I saw while looking for the latest edition of Keith Olbermann's The Resistance.

I think there must be a special section in hell for people who pay that much for clothes and who are impressed with those who do and to those who encourage it.

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