Friday, December 09, 2005

Debbie Does Christmas

(If you are in really good mood today, do not read this post...
because I'm about to get all Debbie Downer up in here....)

So...looks like you are still reading...

Here' the dealio:

I don't know what is wrong with me this year,
but I just can't get into the spirit of things.

I'm not down in the dumps by any means...
in fact, I have been laughing and having fun more than ever...
Living with Mark Martin-Ferrell-Farmer will do that to you.

I just don't feel like dealing with all the overblown hoo-ha that comes along with Christmas anymore...
Sometimes I can play along and get caught up in things,but quite honestly,
it just ain't happening for me this year.

Sadly, Christmas has become something I don't really dig it anymore.

I have been trying to change my bleak outlook on the upcoming festivities, but not very successfully.
I did put up one little red aluminum tree, about 15 inches tall, unlit and undecorated.
It is mildly festive.

I saw it looking pitiful, peeking out from a box in the basement when I was rummaging around looking for a a winter scarf.
Being a sucker for all things pitiful,
I plucked it from the box, gave it a swift fluffing
and plopped it on the sideboard in the TV room.
It is attractive and I do love red sparkly things.

And, I did wear a very cute christmas tree skirt to a Kiwanas Club silent auction Tuesday night.

Also, I suppose, I did eat half a extra-large tray of baklava yesterday.
Consuming about 10 medium to gargantuan-sized pieces,
starting with my morning coffee and rekindling the sugar fueled buzz,
every 2-4 hours until I went to bed.

Curiously restless, I might add.

So...let's see....
Red tree, Christmas skirt, and gorging myself into full sugar-zombie mode on baklava.
Does that constitute the holiday spirit?

Not so much.

Want to know my theory?
The theory of how I got so blase' and grossed out about a holiday I used to absolutely LOVE?

Working in retail management.
Pure and simple.
It really has twisted my outlook on any given holiday.

Being so caught up in promoting overtly hoggish American consumerism
and garish commercialism of so called sacred holidays has done a number on me.

And I was part of it for over a decade.

I feel like I have personally dumped some seriously bad holiday mojo into the world and I feel guilty about it.

I'm telling you, was right there in the aisles in my pearls and blazer...
Tempting and sometimes strong-arming people to buy things they didn't need.
Tempting them to dig deep into their pocketbooks until it hurt in the name of Christmas.

Just so I could make my sales quota, you know.
And to get that raise that year after year,
never turned out to be as much as promised.

I can take a little comfort in the fact, that at least I was selling art for the past few seasons.
I do feel good about that.
Art is very important, and worthwhile.
Especially in my opinion.
Although, I must admit, I may have influenced people to buy some art
solely because it was a big ticket item,
instead of sending them home with the the inexpensive piece that truly moved them.

That is bad.

For many years I was schlepping away in a time warp at the evil Mall of Saint Matthew's.
(Get the irony on that one? Well the crowds were biblical, at least.)

And while I did have some serious fun working there,
and remember crouching behind racks almost urinating myself from laughter with the other visual folks on several occasions.
Winkie, Auguste and Steve...Vinnie, Mark....

I was there, encouraging sickening behavior.
Selling and merchandising goods that weren't even made in this country.

I was your pusher.

I pushed fur ripped off the backs of scared shitless live foxes and electrocuted baby bunnies.

I pushed junk made in sweatshops by unfortunate 6 year olds that couldn't even dream of wolfing down a big, fat bowl of Cheerios to start their 16 hour work day.

I pushed purely over-priced, poorly made glittery junk,
drivel in red packaging,
making promises of happy holidays just so your would just put said item
in your cart as an add-on item
to drive up the bottom line of your receipt.

So, you see...
Having been on the other side of retail,
I see shoppers pulling out their plastic to buy such things and it makes me sick to my stomach.

I want to pull the veil from their eyes.
Slap their faces and say,
"Wake up. Look what you have in your cart."

What is this saying about you, about us as Americans?
We are living up to the disgustedly amused whispers of other countries.

I don't mean to be so critical,
but do you really need a $450 while silk blouse?
It will last you maybe one dinner out.
Then you get drunk and spill red wine on it and ruin it.


So many needy people in the world.
So many needy folks our own communities.

Yet we continue to buy carloads of crap we really don't need,
wrap it up in shiny paper and pretend that we are in the giving spirit.

Pretend we are charitable even.

How did we get to this point?
And does it bother anyone but me?
Have I become mentally ill?
Am I the odd man out here?

Why must I deck the halls with piss and vinegar this year?

I want to say that am guilty of everything that I have mentioned above.
Except the $450 blouse...
I would never buy an expensive white shirt.
I am much too clumsy for that.
However, I am an ignorant, glossy-eyed, sucker for cheap twinkles in red paper.

I also want to say that I realize this is going on
because have been one of those people that makes me sick.
Im the one standing there in line at the Super Wal Mart.
The hugest sin of all,
taking the hook with the rest of the drones.
Staring into my cart with little flashes of clarity that make me think,
"What in the hell am I doing here?"

Yet, with all of the above said,
I will do it again this year.

I know I will.

Can you imagine if I showed up at the the family gatherings with with a bunch of little envelopes?
Here, dear cousin _________.
I know you bought me a fabulous new pair of cashmere socks, and will gratefully accept them from you,
Now here is your gift, I donated $25 to United Way in your name.

How would that go over?

My sisters and have talked about it and I are doing exactly that this year.
But it still leaves a lot of shopping to do for people that are honestly quite happy with what they already have.

I really do hate to be so jaded and Grinch-like.
I have been accused of being Pollyanna-ish many times in my life,
so this is not really not my style.

Hopeful and optimistic are words to describe me.
Not grumbly and conspiracy-minded.

At an attempt to make good of my ill feelings I will try to warp this up with a point.


I guess my point is this:

If you are lucky enough to be surfing around on a computer and reading this,
(Wow, are you actually still reading this???)
in a warm library or maybe even your home,
you are doing much better than many folks
on our great planet Earth these days.

And while I don't honestly care how much you spend on your families and friends this year,
in the name of Baby Jesus....
I simply hope you to take a minute to be thankful for what you have.

How blessed you truly are.
How fortunate we all are.

Then, upon this reflection
and taking stock of your own financial position,
if you can manage help someone less fortunate, please do.

Truly give of yourself.
That's all I'm saying.

If you don't trust the system go downtown and give a homeless person $50.
And before you say it...who gives a frick if he buys a $20 hit of crack and some Wild Irish Rose?
It's what he wants....and it's Christmas.

Sure he may not need it...
and it may not be practical..
but exactly how practical is that mountain materialism you are sitting in the midst of?

Let's all try to be just a little less piggish this year and see how it feels.

Let's hug people and wish them love and happiness and good cheer... and really mean it.
Let's give a little more and expect a little less.

After all, I'm pretty sure that's a little closer to what Jesus had in mind.
It seems a lot of you are still wondering as I am still seeing the bracelets and bumper stickers.

Of course, this is all just my opinion.

I had to get it off my chest...a mad rant and a desperate plea from your favorite Pollyanna.

That's that....for what it's worth.

See you at the Mall!


Blogger digitalcowgirl said...

Wow, grumpy writing agrees with you! Well put. How about this: I will give to the next homeless person who asks me for money and will do it in your name for your Christmas present. You can do the same for me.

And you are not the odd man out by any means.

From, your fellow retail worker-friend

Friday, 09 December, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You GO GIRL!!!! I couldn't have said it better!

As my Dad likes to say:
"Ho, Ho, HELL!" :-)


Friday, 09 December, 2005  
Blogger Lori-Lyn said...

Anessa, it sounds like you are very much in the spirit of things - the TRUE spirit of the holiday - as it was in its origin and is at its core.
P.S. Are you going to post a picture of the Christmas Tree skirt?

Friday, 09 December, 2005  
Blogger Lori-Lyn said...

I also wanted to add that I would be thrilled if someone donated to charity in my name. I think that's a lovely gift.
As you know, last year I decided to make my Christmas presents. I was so worried that my loved ones would feel like they got the shaft when they opened their wonky objects, but I wanted to enjoy Christmas and do something loving and fun without having to go to the mall and when the time came, people actually seemed to appreciate their strange felt hats and oddly shaped handbags and I realized that we all more or less feel the same way about this.
It's about the love. (And the dessert.)
I truly hope both of you have a magical, beautiful Christmas in whatever form it takes.

Saturday, 10 December, 2005  
Blogger anessa said...

Thanks girls---
Can you believe how bitter I sound?
Man--- a tray of sugar can really spin this gal into some dark places, eh?
HA ha....I still feel the same way but I suppose I could have presented my ideas with a little less hostility.

Have a happy day.


And yes,LL,I will post a photo of the skirt today!

Saturday, 10 December, 2005  
Anonymous Brooke said...

I had been bottling up about the exact same senitment this whole year, especially when I am bombarded by coworkers making small talk about what are YOU buying for Christmas? and other mindless crap. It's mostly then when I feel like yelling about all the injustice of the American retail system. And I really don't blame the communist countries for hating capitalism when they look at us.

But don't think I'm always negative about it, I just really really feel where you're coming from. :)

Sunday, 18 December, 2005  
Anonymous jackie said...

wow, merry christmas to you too! ha ha. actually i think there are a lot of people out there just like you. i think people should put more thought into a gift. homemade or 2 dollars, it doesnt matter. i just hope this year i dont open up a pretty pair of furry pj's pull them out and find that they are a large IN CHILDRENS SIZE!!! put much thought in it did ya? thats when you realize that its about just getting something and giving it because you are supposed to, not because it had your name written all over it.
as for feeling the spirit, i try to think about that everyday, be thankful, we could live in iraq!!!
happy holidays everyone!!

Monday, 19 December, 2005  

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