I am one of those types in the minority (?) that does not find the holiday season “the most wonderful time of the year”. I do go through the motions and participate, however reluctantly, as this recession drags on. I was particularly skeptical when I heard the slick obscenely overpaid network newsreader claim that the billions spent on Black Friday and Cyber Monday might provide the tonic to lift the nation out of the economic doldrums for the long haul. That sounds like false optimism and more spin encouraged by the network’s greedy corporate parent. The pessimist in me thinks this spike in spending for the holidays is a fluke, many of these purchases were tossed on plastic, and the big spenders will be paying off their holiday debt through the first quarter or half of the new year. So much for me donning my Lame Adventures economic analysis cap while eating potato chips — the food that fuels my brand of deep thinking.
I do send cards and I buy gifts, but since my wages were drastically slashed 20% three years ago and never reinstated, reducing what I clear now to little more than a potato chip, I can no longer afford to buy the gifts I’d most like to give such as a framed New Yorker cover that my cat-man brother, Axel, would love or the Kindle Fire that is at the top of my sister, Dovima’s, list.
Yet, I feel an obligation to be creative and clever to offset my living on so much less when everything costs so much more. This year, my siblings are each getting from me a pack of semi-chewed gum, but my brother’s also getting some lint I’ve been collecting since spring, and my sister, a pile of ashes in lieu of a Kindle Fire. She will act like I’ve gifted her with a Fabergé egg, but he’ll probably ask about his puff of fluff:
Axel: What does it do?
Me: About as much as the heart in a box you gave me.
Yet, I do think that box full of heart is pretty cool.
My buddy, Martini Max, is bitten hard every year by the holiday spirit that eludes me. This year, when I visited him over Turkey Day, he was elated to learn that he had had some deliveries on Turkey Day Eve to further enhance the ambiance of his bachelor pad. Pictured below is glimpse of genuine Fa La La Martini Max-style:
Buying presents can be really difficult when you know you’re on a budget…
Great pictures 🙂
That’s one of the reasons I find this season more ho-ho-hokum than fun. Thanks for visiting LA, W.R. I got a kick out of your blog’s name!
Max has the coolest place! Love that big Santa head and your bro’s home-made gift. Heart in a box. Hey, the hand made gifts are the best ever. Every year, I try to make at least a couple for my sister. I’m hoping that now she’s retired, I’ll get some unique creations from her.
Max’s pad is the consummate shrine to Jersey-guy passions, that’s for sure. I’ve always been a fan of giving and getting more esoteric-type gifts.
I think there are more people than you think who don’t like the holidays–they just don’t have the guts to admit it. But really, the 20% cut in pay is a BIG DEAL–that would certainly cut into my holiday cheer, as, for me, having the money to give great gifts is part of the joy. And I suppose your employer doesn’t expect you to work 20% less!
It has occurred to me that there may be many others in the closet about suffering holiday cheer fatigue … No, working 20% less is not an option, but I tend to come in 20 minutes late almost every day.
Love Max’s tree! It looks like he has the same vintage Shiny Brite ornaments that I do. My ex-mother-in-law gave them to us years ago when she quit putting up a big tree and opted for a silver one even smaller than Max’s. Cool movie posters too…
Max worships vintage almost as much as he worships Christmas!