I think of this a number of times a year, but none as much as on Black Friday. I listen to the run-up to the "holiday shopping" season and find myself in the same place, year-in and year-out. Now, in this continuing time of a "recession" or whatever it is now, it is all the more worrisome.
It boils down to one huge and overwhelming thought:
Unless you go out and spend lots of money our economy is going to be in trouble. Unless you plan on being A Consumer, you will not be doing your All-American Patriotic duty.It scares me with that every year. We get castigated for saving too much or not spending enough. No one ever tells me that I need to save more and spend less- except for the debt relief agencies. No one tells me that it might be a good idea to give fewer gifts this Christmas, or at least more meaningful ones.
There is something off-balance with a system that needs to push more and more products on more and more people every year in order to do more business and make more profit than last year. No, I am not being a Scrooge. I like giving gifts for Christmas; I like receiving gifts for Christmas. But as a civic duty? Buy a car and put it in the living room with a cute BIG bow on it? Diamonds and big screen TVs?
I don't know for sure what I am going to do this season this year. As I get closer to retirement age I am more and more aware that the day will be coming when I will not have the resources I do today. I won't need as much, either. So I won't buy as much superfluous stuff. I am sure Target and Wal-Mart and Best Buy and all the others who kept the newspapers alive for another week with their ads yesterday will think I am not really being caring and helpful. How can I truly celebrate Christmas if I am spending less than before?
And I haven't even mentioned the Baby Jesus in a bare stable.