i'm not asking for anything for christmas.
there is nothing mrs. spaceneedl could buy at fred meyers or world market or nordstrom or rei that i actually need. she'd basically be throwing money at a vast retail wood chipper, and getting nothing of significant value in return.
my children, however, want everything they see on the kid-advertising cartoon channels, of which there are dozens and dozens. a riotous digital barrage incites them to spend mommy and daddy's money on an array of extruded-plastic with a half-life of 5,000 years and a useful life of five seconds.
they're children, of course, and therefore defenseless against aggressive, amoral advertisers turning them into wide-eyed, drooling, chanting shopping zombies...just like most adults, come to think of it.
this is not a post about rampant consumerism and tinsel-plated holidays. one might just as effectively stick their head in the ocean and yell at fish. which i would gladly do if the water here were 35 degrees warmer.
no, i think it's a post about limited resources of all kinds, and how we're encouraged to use them up in the most frivolous ways. psst, hey bud, you got 20 bucks in your pocket? here, i'll trade you for this string of blinking red chili pepper lights.
psst, hey lady, you got a couple free hours? well, sit down right here in front of this electric box and let the artificial images and sounds wash over you. trust me, your brain won't feel a thing.
mind you, i do not stand in judgement of those who spend 20 bucks on chili pepper lights or a couple hours in front of the 42" hi-def lcd video monitor. i am many things, but "transparent hypocrite" is not one of them. most of the time.
i'm just observing that it's way too easy to fritter away our way-too-finite resources on such things, knowing full well that time spent watching a ball game played by steroid-fueled sociopaths is time we'll never get back and will have a hard time rationalizing when we're looking back on a lifetime of poor consumer decisions.
just as few will say, "i wish i'd spent more time at the office," fewer still will say "i wish i'd seen roger clemens throw more 'roid-rage fastballs at people's heads."
mrs. spaceneedl laments the dearth of "holiday spirit" at our house. she misses the idyllic holidays of her childhood, and spends much energy this time of year trying to recreate them. i ask, "do you suppose the holidays were great fun for your parents, or were they just as exhausted as we are and making the best of it?"
the question gives her pause, and gives me time to put up a string of chili pepper lights on our charlie brown christmas tree.
holiday retail question: why hasn't the estate of charles m. schulz ever marketed a line of "charlie brown christmas trees"? i bet they'd make a fortune.
anyhoo, i'm not asking for anything for christmas.
but neither will i object if a bottle of veuve clicquot champagne with my name on it shows up under our tree. and if that's accompanied by a gift certificate for a thalassotherapy massage for two at the wickaninnish inn, who am i to be ungrateful?
if 'tis the season to fritter resources...we could do much worse.