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Consumerism Reports

chicago dyke's picture

So although I'm an anti-consumerist atheist, I've found myself out in the stores a great deal this month, mostly for household project needs. I can't say I've enjoyed it, but I figured I'd look around and pay attention to other people as I made my purchases. I've been in a lot of stores where I assumed the majority of the people are there to make holiday purchases. Although it's been several years since I was in a specifically holiday/consumerist mode, I recall that when I was, certain things were to be feared this time of year: no parking, crowded aisles, and long lines.

This year those fears have proven ungrounded.

I'll have to go back and look up the numbers, but it seems to me that this holiday season is well, not really that different than any other shopping season this year. There were some long lines at the grocery store today, but that was honestly the first time I've been actually annoyed by the crowds. The rest of the time, I've been breezing thru. I've been to some truly "seasonal" shopping environments as well- big box stores, malls, toy stores, kiddie stores (what was I supposed to do? Sis was pregnant and asked me to pick her up some stuff). And I've been at all times of the calendar: during the weekday, on the weekends, mornings and nights...and strangely, except for the shortening of the days and dusting of snow, I really can't tell that it's that famous season of consumerism in overdrive. Not at all.

What about you? What was your shopping experience like, if any? If you're a holiday shopper, did you find yourself more restricted in your purchases this year? What about those of you who work in retail- how's business?

If I give Christmas gifts, I always give in money or time to charities, in the person's name who is receiving the gift. I'm too anticonsumerist to do anything else, and too atheist to feel motivated to do even that very often. What gifts, if any, are you giving this season?

The best gift I've received is of course this intelligent, critical, dynamic group of readers who grace this blog with wit and political acumen. I can't think of anything I'd rather receive. Thank you. And Happy Fesitivus!

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Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

First off, thanks for your blog.

I brought my family together across their rifts. It took moving to the West Coast to cajole them, a discussion over dinner, a few well-placed phone calls, a couple of white lies, and 120 miles of carpooling. Grandma was delighted; the grandkids, shy; the aunts, parents, and in-laws surprised it went so easily. Time together -- that's the real gift, isn't it?

As for the other gifts, my partner and I have come up with a system. Throughout the year, if we see something we'd like to give to a particular someone, we buy it on the spot and store all these things in a cupboard. It's not a lot of stuff. Then we either give it when we see the person, or wait until the holidays. It leaves very little to do around Christmas except tree, meals together, that sort of thing. And we also agree with others in the family who don't want to do gifts anymore, so that nobody is forced to keep shopping when they don't like it. The focus seems to be shifting to more time together and less gift-giving, except more spur of the moment type things.

nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez's picture
Submitted by nezua limón xol... on

merricus festivus, CD! feliz navidad, happy hannukah and big ups to ya rabbit! (dont ask, i assume its a saying that goes along with a holiday somewhere in creation)

no store stuff for me. just worky worky. i guess i should think about the christmas thing soon. i tried to buy something online last night. i'm really bad with these holiday things. i get dragged across them more than anything else. its not that i'm scroogey, i love people getting together and having fun. celebrating life. just bad with calender things.

.delusions of un mundo mejor.

Submitted by lambert on

... just did a sketch with cows mooing Away in a Manger....

Says it all....

We. Are. Going. To. Die. We must restore hope in the world. We must bring forth a new way of living that can sustain the world. Or else it is not just us who will die but everyone. What have we got to lose? Go forth and Fight!—Xan

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

Stashing this link here until I can find Sarah's post for holiday foods. Never heard of making these at home I must admit, and lacking a stand mixer the process would be somewhat tedious. They are said however to be terrific and infinitely better than those plasticized cotton balls sold by Kraft in stores. ...6_88610,00.html

(frantically casting about for way to make this on topic....)

You could always give these as gifts! (whew...)

Submitted by lambert on

Here. Of course, you do have to order from a law enforcement letterhead.... But then, I'd say the rule of law is a little bit up for grabs these days.

We. Are. Going. To. Die. We must restore hope in the world. We must bring forth a new way of living that can sustain the world. Or else it is not just us who will die but everyone. What have we got to lose? Go forth and Fight!—Xan

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... haven't been crazy busy.

Each year, I lose more enthusiasm for the gift exchange.

Though a lifelong atheist, I generally enjoy the color and energy of the Christmas season, but I will say that the "War on Christmas" whiners like O'Reilly have taken some of the charm out of the holiday. No doubt that comment would make him proud.

of staying out of every sort of store other than grocery and an occasional drugstore between Thanksgiving and New Year's day. Everything is on sale before that and after that.

I let the women in my family, which is everyone else except the dog, do all that stuff. They seem to enjoy it, and no one can say that I'm making them do it.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

Except for the kids, food is always the best gift and we enjoy trying to surprise each other with unexpected yummy treats.

This season will always be with us and not because the Xtians borrowed the date to foist Christ on us, but because the pagan and earth rhythms are wired into us. It's why Easter and Halloween will always be celebrated, too. Fact.

I was shocked and pleased to find the roads unclogged today...but there were plenty of shoppers in the two stores I visited. I didn't find the out of stock older movie I was looking for, alas, but I did score the deluxe DDR dance pad....on the craigslist market, but we met at the mall.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

It was posted on Buzzflash a while back, but I didn't save the link...the war on Christmas predates Falafel O'Liely by quite a bit. Ford (yes, that Ford...of horseless carriage fame) used to whine about it. All part of the Jews-secretly-rule-the-world cult.