Pique N' Your Interest 

Consumer Christmas

Last year on Christmas Eve my boyfriend and I were in Park Royal at opposite ends of the mall, power shopping the day before Christmas.

We bought CDs, books, a wallet, sweatshirts, and a robe… the list goes on. All of this was done in less than two hours. Credit cards were swiped time and time again. Brows were mopped repeatedly in rising panic as the minutes ticked away and the perfect present, the one that was going to make Christmas Day, seemed to get further and further out of reach.

It was crazed and frenzied spending, without a thought to the monthly statement that would surely be slipping in the mailbox in the New Year. We each hit all the essentials – the Gap, Roots, Banana Republic, and the Bay.

So we shopped, and then we met for lunch with bags piled up beside our seats and then we rushed home, wrapped the presents, put them briefly under the tree and then ripped them apart the next day.

It was nonsensical. I think it’s fair to say that we’ve lost the meaning of Christmas. Better yet, I think it’s fair to say that this has become the meaning of Christmas. What is that all about?

Even when we were in the midst of it, surrounded in the pent up panic of last minute shoppers, I knew it was stupid. As my mom would say, we were buying just for the sake of buying. I hate it when those little parental gems come popping back up to mock you when you’re doing something stupid.

The trip to Park Royal was totally unnecessary. I felt like we were being duped, falling into this dangerous trap of rampant consumerism because that’s what everyone else was doing.

It’s the same every year. As much as I’m loath to say this, I can almost picture us there again on Christmas Eve this year. Then again, maybe we’ll mix it up a bit this year and go to Metrotown. I shudder at the very thought of repeating it all over again.

Anyway I digress. The shopping spree reminded me of the year my mom first suggested we have a consumer-free Christmas. She does it every year now when she’s in the heat of the Christmas pressure, round about Dec. 21, 22. We’ve learned to just ignore it.

But that first year she suggested it, it came as quite a shock. She was sick of the consumerism, playing right into the hands of the marketers and advertisers. There was absolutely no need for it she said. We have too much as it is already and there are people in the world who have nothing. All we think about is ourselves.

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