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Can’t buy me love


Stop the Presses column by Chris Graham
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What if we all up and promised to continue buying as much stuff as we do now the rest of the year, and just left Christmas and Hanukkah and the other spiritual holidays to be spiritual holidays?

I know it’s fun taking part in the retail orgy that is America in the holiday season – I’m right there with you.

And maybe this is the old fogey in me coming out for the first time, but …

It’s not about loving somebody – buying them an expensive Christmas present, that is.

You ask me, the more expensive the present, the more the person buying the present is trying to apologize for something – most likely not spending time with you the other 364 days of the year, ironically in part because they have to make enough money to buy expensive presents like the one that they just handed to you.

And as for kids … man, oh, man, are we raising a generation of kiddos that are not going to be able to function when reality smacks them upside the nose.

I was at a family gathering earlier this year that did not involve kids getting presents, and one of the young’uns in attendance threw an absolute hissy fit because he was at a family gathering and didn’t have people handing him gifts to open up.
I remember turning to the missus at one point in the proceedings and saying as forcefully as I could without being ostracized, “When we have kids, they are not going to turn out like that.”

I’d much, much rather spend time with my own nieces and nephews, for example, quality time, showing them how to use the new telescope that I got last year, or the finer points of basketball, since I used to coach basketball in a local youth league, and have something to work with there, or most anything else, than spend money on some present that they’re going to be excited about for about 25 seconds before forgetting about it forever.

And for that matter, I’d prefer lunch or dinner with my wife and mom and in-laws and talking aimlessly before and after about life and whatever else comes to mind …

And this doesn’t include the reason for the season – and here I admit that I’m not as spiritual right now as I have been at other times in my life, but let’s face it, the holiday season is about the religious significance that is supposed to be attached to it, not that we get that in this day and age.

And even for a hard-hearted soul like the me of today, I can appreciate what the holidays – literally Holy Days – are really.

Seriously, I’m saying it right here, and I mean it. I’ll buy whatever I need to the rest of the year so that the retail sector doesn’t fade out of existence. Just give me Christmas and the holiday season back so I can revel in the joy of life in peace.



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