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12/9/11

Christmas Excess

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, but some things about this season really bother me.

Mostly, it's the excess.  The overload.  And it won't stop until after the New Year.

For example, most Americans can correlate Christmas with the ringing of bells outside of grocery and department stores.  The Salvation Army is in full force, taking donations for good causes.

I myself put some change in those little red buckets from time to time.

But not every time, and not in every bucket.  Which is my fatal flaw.

Some of these bell ringers are aggressive, and make you feel guilty for not "helping out."  It doesn't matter if you already put money in another bucket, or donated in that exact bucket yesterday when someone else was there.  THEY see you now, THEY want you now, and if you don't donate NOW, you're an ass.

Or is that all part of their marketing tactic?

Excessive food (face it, from Thanksgiving to New Years we gorge ourselves on food, treats, cookies, snacks, and sometimes alcohol), excessive decorating ('Tis the Season...) and excessive spending.

I popped into a store the other day to get two quick items.  My total rang up as $9, and then the fun began.

I got a receipt as long as Santa's Naughty List.

Here's my transaction receipt.  And here's a separate ticket to take a survey and win a chance for $500.  And here's another for a coupon on a store-wide sale we're doing next week.  Oh, and here's one for the week after.

And... and... and...

...and all I wanted was a box of Candy Canes and some Toilet Paper...  instead, I just killed a tree with all the receipts they gave me.

The lady in front of me in line actually did some minor Christmas shopping.  You think 42" of receipt tape was bad?  I was convinced they were going to have to change the roll of receipt tape halfway through printing HER goodies...

I'm not really a fan of excess.  I try to lead a simple life.  Christmas is always Merry for me.  In fact, I'm spending this weekend with my two boys as an early Christmas celebration.  I just wish we didn't have to be so damn extreme about it.  But... since everyone else is doing it... we are pressured to fall in line.

Merry Christmas.  Back to the rat race for me.
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11 witty retorts:

Pickleope said...

Could have just bought the candycanes and used the receipt for the roll of t.p. (Thank you, tip your waitress.)
There are those red-bucket guys now that have credit card machines to eliminate all excuses and truly guilt the Grinch out of us all.
Thankfully everyone in my family is now old enough that we all made a pact not to buy presents for anyone and just bask in the glow of each other's company...and alcohol.

Haven said...

The red bucket people actually make me angry. The holidays aren't about imposing guilt. At least not last time I checked. I donate to about 5 different charities monthly, all year round, but is that good enough? Newp. I already have enough guilt issues. Bleh, the last think I need is feeling like I have to avoid the grocery for a month. Though maybe that would cut back on all that holiday eating.

Zombie said...

I always keep a pocket full of change to avoid that professional guilt trip. lol.

Jessica ( frellathon ) said...

That red bucket only makes me feel guilty so I do the whole stare at my feet while walking in hoping I don't trip thing, they make you feel guilty no matter what.

Adsila said...

I could wrap the world a couple of times with my long receipts. I am going Christmas shopping this weekend with a pre-paid credit card in my wallet. I have to budget myself and with two granddaughters, it is going to be hard. Don't get me started on the baking."Tis the season to spend money, falalalala lalalala......

According to Jewels said...

The only time I want a long receipt is if there are coupons on the end of it...otherwise save that nonsense! I have finished all my shopping, all with coupons and discount cards, and didn't go crazy at all. I went for practical gifts (boring I know) and only shopped for the necessary people. My friends and I all agree to do a girls night in with wine and some pizza and save money of gifts...as busy as we are time together is gift enough. I'm a simple woman though, I don't need the diamonds and wooing.

Suniverse said...

I've become aggressively cheery to the bell ringers and just wish them a happy holiday before they can say anything to me. It kind of startles them.

I've had zero inclination in doing anything holiday like this year. Zero.

Al Penwasser said...

I'm glad that Santas no longer shill for cash at the Salvation Army buckets near us and that they have regular people do it. It made me feel kinda guilty to blow off Kris Kringle (by "blowing off" and "do it", I meant in a non-sexual way, of course) as I hustled into random fart clouds at Walmart.

Thank, Q said...

I'm so glad someone else feels the same way I do. Those guys in the Santa suit look at you with the stink eye when you walk past them. "I'm sitting out here in the cold, ringing a bell in a Santa suit, and you can't even put a few coins in this kettle!!!!???"

No one wants to feel guilted into giving, dude.

Lost.in.Idaho said...

Someone had to finally say it. And I'm just the asshole to do it.

FUCK YOU, SALVATION ARMY! (but only during the holidays...)

Mynx said...

I thought those guys were only in the movies.

I have to avoid eye contact with the world vision guys trying to get me to buy a goat or chicken as a christmas gift.

They are very good with blocking the way at times.
I know it is a good cause but I usually try to help out with a wishing tree gift

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