Friday Night, Alone
I Have Nothing to Wear: Rethinking the Thong

How many days does it take to prepare for Christmas?

My younger daughter would say, “Mom, get over it,” but how do you get over going into the supermarket on November 6th only to be greeted by Christmas trees, red and green decorations, and holiday goodies in fancy boxes? I may be misconstruing something, but I thought that Christmas was a celebration of Jesus and his life. Do I have this wrong? Do the retailers really think that a strong Christmas season will save them when, in fact, the very commercialization of Christmas may be one of the reasons for the economic crisis we are facing. I thought that we were finally being forced to realize that there is more to life than our purchasing power. This is ludicrous—it’s only November 6th. And no, it’s not just a jealous Jew speaking, it’s a person who cannot comprehend how things—the getting and giving of them—can be the only way we have at our disposal to show love.

In 1985 it took me three months to plan a wedding, get a dress, buy an apartment and buy a car. It’s not that complicated. Why does it take almost as long to buy gifts? And why should people still feel pressured to buy so much for so many? Your kids will love you even if you don’t buy them the latest; after all, my daughters still love me and they never once got a play station or more American Girls dolls than can fit on a comforter. And what’s with the exchange of gift cards? Why don’t you say you did and don’t. Wouldn’t that be easier for everyone?

We got rid of the president who thought that buying was the way, now, well, I’m not really sure but I think at some point this president said something about investing in a healthier world, one, I’m assuming, where we take care of ourselves and each other in real ways and not through stuff.

Yes, I am the curmudgeon at work who did not sign up to help sponsor a family’s Christmas gifts. Could it be that on this I agree with conservatives with their mantra to: Take back Christmas? Take it back to the churches and the gatherings that combine solemnity and celebration. We have got to have a reason for our society and our existence that is other than to buy things and to say how great we are. How great are we, really? Does this say anything good about us? Is it really about giving or is it about pressure? Is it about caring for each other or compartmentalizing our care so that it fits into a well-wrapped gift?  

And someone, please take the Egg Nog back from the milk section. Surely it’s too early for that.  



As someone who celebrates Christmas I can tell you I am equally disgusted with all the debris strewn throughout the stores.
My husband and I have adopted a local charity to whom we give most of our donation money throughout the year - they provide food, help pay fuel bills and get prescriptions, etc. What we don't do is buy toys to go to kids that need food, medicine and a new coat!
Also what we don't do; shop til we drop and deck the halls, walls, trees, shrubs and anything else that stands still for 5 mins.
We buy a few gifts and I make Christmas Eve dinner for family, in laws and out laws. I believe my grandchildren should be home Christmas day to enjoy the holiday. I decorate a tree only because I have collected so many ornaments over the years and the walk down memory lane is a joy to me.
I bake lots of different cookies because I've been doing that since the kids were small and they would miss not having cookies.
I watch old movies; It's A Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th St and at least 3 versions of A Christmas Carol.
And I reflect on the year past and whether I had done enough, what else could I have done and start to plan for the new year. And then I pray for peace and love to prevail.
When I hear of fights over a certain toy or a store worker getting trampled to death while shoppers storm the aisles, I feel defeated. So, I continue to look for ways to spread the message intended - work in a soup kitchen, make donations to those in need, lend a hand, go to work at the jail and try to give a little encouragement to inmates...
I must confess though that I'm a sucker for sparkly, twinkly things so every year between Christmas and New Year's I take a ride through a nearby park that has a 2 mile continuous display of lights and movement and you can tune in the radio to nonstop Christmas music. I sit back, ohhh and ahhh and just enjoy a treat for the senses - best part; the money they collect at the gates goes to the local children's home.
All that being said, I agree that people have lost sight of the fact that this is a religious holiday, not a secular one and those that DON'T celebrate Christmas should not be daily assaulted by garish tributes.


Preaching to the choir, Laura. I thought it was particularly annoying when I heard Christmas music before Halloween. It's all about money and the retailers rely on the money they make during the Christmas holidays to get them through the rest of the year. But it doesn't make it any less obnoxious. I celebrate Christmas, but I'd be happy if the decorations didn't go up until a week or two before the holiday. That might actually make things feel festive if they were only up for a short while.

The first Christmas ads on television gave me this immediate feeling of stress. In this country it has become more of a secular holiday and the religious aspects tend to get completely lost. The chaos and emphasis on gift-giving and acquisition denigrates the holy. The notion that men must give their wives a Lexus wrapped in a red bow is just sad.

Personally, we've cut back on the gift giving and in the past few years have made gifts for our friends and family. Christmas should be more about giving to those less fortunate and being thankful for what we've got. We can give the gift of ourselves and the love we share to each other.


I stopped at the local Hobby Lobby (closed Sundays) about a week ago in search of something irrelevant to the topic of this paragraph and thought I had walked into the North Pole. All I could think of was 'You have *got* to be kidding me!' It's just unbelievable to me how this holiday has been transfigured into a greed machine.


every year the assault comes earlier and earlier it seems. Yes, they (the retailers) do thing strong sales will save them. And what is this purchasing power nonsense? It is what got this nation into the mess we are in. And you can bet our fellow J team members will go overboard with Hanukkah as well. Stop the ride I want to get off.


My girls aren't getting presents this year. We're going to NYC, but getting a lot of help from my parents (who are also going), especially with their time share. I will be happy to contribute my funds to the Broadway theatre and NY venues, places I think really deserve my money! And okay, they'll get one gift each of their choosing from FAO Schwartz. And I'm an atheist. Xmas, for me, is about spending time with family and friends. I can't wait for it this year!!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)