Thursday, December 11, 2008

Virginia Gal's Bah Humbug Moment

I'm prefacing this post with a disclaimer, if you are all about the holiday spirit, elfish felicity and gingerbread goodness, this post is probably not going to be for you.

I was listening on the radio, NPR, about how the Salvation Army was saying that their donations were down and they, the Salvation Army, would not be able to give as many presents this year as in the past. Hearing this, I didn't feel one ounce of pang. Does this make me a bad person? Maybe. I am sorry but there are kids in the world who have literally (hope I'm using that word right Darla D), no food to eat, let alone imagining having a toy!

Presents, presents, I am sorry you're not getting a Barbie or Transformer this year, or some stuffed toy that you'll play with for a few months and than get bored with and discard, wanting whatever is the latest and greatest toy out there, but what the heck, you will live!....meanwhile all over this world, including in America, there are children with not enough food, clothes, heck even heat in the house, perhaps that is a better present????

Maybe this makes me a Scrooge, but Angel Tree's and such are just a way to appease shoppers of their obscene materialism in this period. Buy a "poor kid" some toy and than you can feel better about spending hundreds of dollars on electronics, clothes, toys, and the like. I know, I know, kindness and comfort can come in the form of a gift, a token, but wouldn't that money be better used for the well-being of the child or children around the world?

Maybe its my cash-strapped situation, which has me currently living paycheck to paycheck, maybe its my anger at this government (Treasury Department) that gave those greedy already filthy rich investment bankers $75 billion but still insists I pay back my student loans (trust me a drop in the hat compared to $75 billion), but I just am upset at these Christmas gift charity things, where does it end?! Well I guess since we gave charity to the auto industry, there really is no end, perhaps we should set up charities for everything we want, early bird dinners for Florida senior citizens, spa treatments for Park Ave. ladies, ponies for lobbyists on K street....

Urgh - Christmas gifts are not necessary, they are not even a part of Christmas, just invented by our materialistic society! You will live without getting a Christmas present, yes you might feel bad since our culture has drummed it into our heads that Christmas is all about Santa and waking up on December 25th to a beautifully decorated tree that shelters underneath its delightful branches, reams and reams of artfully decorated gifts, but you will still live. If you have money to get gifts, than fine, but charity to get a gift, is that really necessary?? Instead what is necessary is food, water, shelter, clothes, health care, heck a good education, that is a good charity!

This is my Virginia Gal bah humbug moment.


Blogger mommanator said...

Thats not being a humbug at all!
WIKI='In Christian theology charity, or love , means an unlimited loving-kindness toward all others. The term should not be confused with the more restricted modern use of the word charity to mean benevolent giving'.
We have lost the true meaning of Christmas & charity if ya ask me!
You don't need to give me a 'gift' Your 'presence' is the gift!

7:17 AM  
Blogger Brenda said...


8:27 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

i so totally agree. i'm feeling quite arsy about gifts this year. justin and i never do much for each other for christmas anyway, but i hate the way certain family members feel like they have to buy stuff (rubbish?) just so we can have gifts under the tree. i just keep saying, 'save your money. give it to charity. i don't want any more STUFF!!!' and no one listens. i think that's just me being grouchy, though.

btw - thanks for the card!! i promise to email as soon as exams are over (next thursday - hurray!!)

5:17 PM  
Blogger Merci said...

I kind of agree. Kind of. But giving AND receiving are both blessings, and they are good for the soul. The best gifts I'm giving this year are donations to charity. It can be fun to buy gifts for people you love. If it stops being a joy, then stop doing it.

11:16 PM  
Blogger Pax Romano said...

Well said, VG ... well said.

10:19 PM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Mommantor - a presence, you are so right, giving the child a gift of time is probably more valuable than a "gift."

Brenda - thank you!!

Kate - stuff, I totally get that and I'm trying to downsize as well : )

Merci - if its fun certainly do it, but understand, as you point out, that for most, these types of giving are more for the giver than the receiver.

Pax - thank you oh wise one!

1:54 AM  
Blogger Darla D said...

Yeah, you are right - it is annoying, and it's nice to have the occasional rant to call attention to it!

(And yes, great use of "literally!" Did I ever tell you about my favorite mis-use of that? I overheard the end of the following conversation: "And then he walked in, and I literally died!") :-D

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I'm with Merci on this one - moderation is the key. Yes, there are people in depserate need, but are any of us willing to give up every little luxury to equalize that? Christmas can be a magical time in a family, and gifts can be a part of that. Just not excess.

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