The decades-old trope of our Christmas being too commercial has become a pointless cliché, met with total indifference today.
The time when our parents were getting oranges, handkerchiefs and stockings for Christmas was long ago, having ended in my childhood with children’s spending obligations via “Christmas Clubs,” bank accounts that effectively extorted money from kids with no interest rate.
At age 10, I dutifully complied, trying to bank my dollar every week. And winding up at year-end with an account bulging with US$6. For me, unwieldy Christmas commercialization began at that point. Decades later, it became apparent that Christmas wasn’t really commercial enough.
Ironically, capping a miserable year like 2020, our sacramental capitalism is on respirators. And we actually do need speed-dial spending and exorbitant consumerism, which would also force others to spend and borrow, and put the real meaning of “Holy Jesus” back in the expression, “Holy Jesus, I’m freakin’ broke!”
After all, gift giving to every living creature we know (including a muzzle for the chihuahua) is what Jesus would have done. Be bread-and-fishes old-fashioned. Empty wallets, fill up credit limits and pawn karaoke machines. By all accounts, close to 60 percent of all retail sales each year take place around the Christmas holidays. The rest of the year it appears we mostly shoplift.