• I have thought that I was done shopping now three times only to have to go out again-- each time to a more hostile environment.
• Last night, on what I thought was my last time out, I picked up our Christmas Cards. We, not only, waited until the very last minute to send the cards, we didn't shoot the picture until yesterday afternoon. Thank God for one hour photo cards.
• I think I made my last Christmas gift sale on SkeetzTeez yesterday, too, as it will be too late to guarantee shipments before the 24th. I will put together a full report when the month is up but, overall, I did pretty good and I think the sales I made will generate a lot of additional traffic in the coming months.
• I was also getting a lot of visits directly from my blog posting on The Twelve Days of Christmas Specials and the article on My Top 14 Christmas Song Performances was getting enough hits that I put together a Americas Top 40: Christmas lens.
• We had a extended family member that we used to make fun of some 25-30 years ago because they would send out an update on what everybody was up to in a typewritten photo-copied family newsletter in the Christmas Cards that we received every year. The joke is on us as they were way ahead of their time and that is more of the norm than the exception now.
• When are we going to finally give in and go with Christmas e-cards? They are faster, easier and more eco-friendly than the traditional method.
• I don't want to come off sounding like a Scrooge here because, really, I'm not! I love Christmas and I love the holidays. I think it is for sincere reasons that I like to give rather than receive gifts-- and not that I don't like what people give me. I get the best feeling from someone (usually a child, because you know that they aren't faking it) opening the present that I picked-out for them and their face filling with joy.
• Some people, however, I absolutely dread shopping for because no matter how much effort you put in or how much money you spend, you can't pick a winner. You know the type... you may get an insincere, "Oh, it's just what I wanted!" or "Coooool" and then it's tossed off to the side with the other stuff while the ungrateful bastage looks for the next box to unwrap... but I digress...
• I have heard a lot of people saying that they are cutting back this year because of the economy. Let me be perfectly clear when I say, "I think this is a good thing", because I think we all do (and spend) way too much around the holidays. We should spend less money at Christmas and more time with friends and family and thinking about the true meaning of the blessed day. If you do have two nickels to rub together, though, this is the time to spend your money for three reasons:
- There are some great deals out there because of the law of supply and demand. Manufacturers and Retailers are slashing prices because people aren't spending as much. The pie is, therefore, smaller and businesses are being aggressive to be sure to get their piece.
- It will help the economy. Capitalism is like a machine-- with many moving parts. If one of those parts stop working, the rest of the machine breaks-down. We, as consumers, are part of that machine and our job, as consumers, is to consume or buy things.
- Invest in the future. There are three possibilities of what the economy is going to do in the next twelve months-- get worse, get better, or stay the same. If you have a job now, you should enjoy yourself because we don't know what things are going to be like next year. Don't get me wrong... You should be responsible with your money (save for a rainy day and stuff like that) but don't worry about things you can't control.
• I was so mad at my parents when they told me the big news about Christmas and everything that I believed. They lied to me for so long and I was naive enough to fall for their bogus fables (this was worse than my Dad's "square-needle in the left-nut" stories) and, what made it harder to deal with is, every adult that I knew was in on the conspiracy and was aware that I was that incredibly, gullible. That is why I felt so horrible when I had to use the old, "now be a good boy or Santa won't bring you any presents", line with M3S this weekend. It felt so cruel that I couldn't think of a reply when he asked, "How does Santa see us?" and I had to defer to MLW... I still want to believe...
• After several years of over-politically-correctness by the general public, many people that I have run into this year are again wishing others a Merry Christmas. I, honestly, don't mind when someone says Happy Holidays to me; I wouldn't be offended if someone would tell me to have a Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Ramadan, for that matter; however I prefer Merry Christmas. Here's what I don't understand, though-- What's the big deal? Why are there lawsuits about what Holiday decorations can or cannot be displayed in public places? How can wars be waged for decades and people die by the thousands for no better reason than differing beliefs?
I am no theologian and I have not extensively studied any religion or culture other than my own-- Christian but, from what I understand, all of these and most other cultural beliefs in the history of the modern world are based on the Golden Rule-- Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Seriously--check it out!
Although I may say Happy Holidays or Happy Hanakkah to any Jewish person I know, I usually greet others with Merry Christmas around this time of year because I am a Christian, therefore I celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Others may be celebrating or observing different things, but all of us could certainly use as many well wishes as we can get in this crazy, mixed-up world that we live in. I sincerely hope that I don't offend thee with any Holiday Greeting that I give you because, when it really comes down to it, I am just wishing upon you all of the peace, love, joy and all of the other good things that we all deserve so much.