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: