Hello DMoore -
I enjoyed your story in the Sunday paper about shopping/retailers/shoppers. This Christmas my wife and I did the following: no Elvis xmas cds or any other, no xmas family gathering at our house (2 hours with her family on xmas eve), no check to my mother, no gifts to each other, no outdoor lights, nothing for the 3 little sled dogs (Chihuahuas), no big single gift for us, no travel, no early shopping as on Black day, no living Christmas tree, no church services, no eggnog (only wine), and no caroling. We did Christmas cards and Christmas cookies (wife and sisters) and the fiber optic tree was still up from last year. Does this list depress you?
This was probably the most enjoyable Christmas either of us can recall. I have a lung disease and my wife works hard so some of our avoidance was tactical in order to rest and stay healthy. We went to Kohls to look at stuff and left the stuff there. We did not want any more stuff. We do not enjoy the lines and clerks with their bad attitudes, ignorance, and weak English skills. We find the traffic light; but with the lack of traffic control and with so many uninsured drivers we drive as little as possible and very seldom at night any more. The ads did not raise our pulse rate. The relatives didn't either. I am 64 and the thrill is gone from shopping and exchanging and acquiring and heavy duty visiting during the holidays. I no longer want to buy anything much. My wife is 15 yrs younger and doesn't care to shop except for clothes at stores I can't mention here because she would pound me to a pulp.
So we had a happy and peaceful time. Maybe we are part of a trend that your story partly alluded to. We don't worry about money because we have enough most of the time. We live in a safe and nice neighborhood. We don't ignore the community. We watch out for our neighbors. We read the opinions and we vote - just tired of consuming. We think there may be many more like us. We may be in the vanguard of a population segment that no longer derives satisfaction from America's leading activities - buying and having and owning and displaying. Thanks again for your story. It makes me feel less like a curmudgeon.
I always read your stories because my past is similar. I was born in Michigan - between Flint and Detroit. Spent 12 years with the nuns. Came here in 1964 and keep coming back. I still miss the snow. Usually I dream about it in January; white flakes coming down from a black sky. I miss the cold and the quiet of the winters there. But, here we are hoping you have an inspired and busy 2009 and wanting the same.
Las Crucen L.J.H.