Toys R Us line of people for Black Friday Sales

The selling season has begun. The ads have been fired at the public. The newspapers are twice their usual size with all the advertisements. People have signed up to pay homage to that great illusion that passes for Christmas gift giving. What is a gift but something that says “I love you” but without having to say so. And, what is a gift but a measurement of exactly how much I love you too. I can feel the warmth already.

I am being snarky because this holiday has become nothing more than a meter for the economy. I have worked in the retail arena for decades in some capacity or other providing services and product for the season. Maybe that is why I am so jaded about the Christmas mystique.  However, all signs seem to point to a wonderful selling season from the Black Friday and Cyber Monday preliminary estimates. There is hope for this struggling economy. And I must say that makes me feel just a tad more secure that a palace revolt won’t happen in the near future. More “love” was purchased from our major retailers this year over last. Each hard-earned dollar is going directly into the profit margin of Wal-Mart, Macy’s, Target and Toys R Us. I feel the warmth already.

I reined in my Christmas budget considerably when I realized that I was spending money on gift cards only to get gift cards in return. I could have saved a step and said to family and friends, you keep your money in your wallet and I’ll keep my money in mine. Now, unless otherwise instructed, I shop for a gift that has some meaning for that person. And, I pay cash when possible. Call me crazy, but I just don’t jump into this season because the marketing people tell me I need to join in all the buying frenzy. Bigger is not better and more can be too much.

What I do want for Christmas is to feel the genuine warmth of friendship and love from family and friends. On Christmas morning, I want to wake up to a wonderful cup of coffee, the smell of freshly peeled oranges and know that I have another day on this planet. I want to feel as if I have made a difference (of the positive kind) in someone’s life. I want other people to share with their loved ones. I want the feeling that all is right with life. I want peace on earth and good will towards men (and women).