'Tis the season for gift giving for no holiday is quite as fun as one you can receive presents on. Thanksgiving is great, but it lacks stockings full of bathroom condiments (at least that’s what I get).
Let's face it; Christmas has become a four month debacle beginning in September when that first ornament is on display at local drug stores.
Kelsey Ramos of the LA Times discusses the Oprah effect on Holiday shopping beginning a bit too soon. In October, Oprah aired a show discussing stores that were distributing coupons for 50 percent off their entire stock until the end of October.
"This time many are wondering if Oprah's featured offer is just an early example of the acceleration of Black Friday's rabid consumerism," said Ramos. "All this, and Halloween hasn't even arrived yet."
Target had Halloween items on clearance a week and a half before October 31st. Winter paraphernalia adorned the store while holiday items were placed at the front of racks.
This act of gift giving seems to hasten every year leaving two things: very gifted people or very envious people.
Last year's Oprah show of her "favorite things" consisted of ridiculous items like $800.00 video cameras, a set of cupcakes from Williams-Sonoma--a store that just smells pricery--for $59 and a Clarisonic skin care system for almost $200. Nothing says Christmas quite like an electric skin care system does.
My question is: haven't people heard of devil's food cake? It costs about $1.97 at local supermarkets. If you are afraid of poor attempts at Martha Stewart recipes this holiday season, then go buy icing bags for decorating and call it a day. Who in their right mind buys nine cupcakes for $59 as a gift? The answer is a plethora of middle aged housewives. If I am spending $59 on anything it’s definitely a steak dinner at Morton’s.
After Oprah wheels these out on a cart, divulges in one while ooing and ahing over its decadence (it’s almost taboo to watch), she then has her little elves--assistants--carry an array of cakes out on a silver tray for her audience. They then chime in with an uproar of frenzied screaming, jumping, as well as possible passing out and there you have it America: consumerism at its finest. Williams-Sonoma cupcake business rose by 90 percent last Christmas.
Personally, I enjoy gifts that mean something. Gifts like soap on a rope from distant family members or gifts that somehow got re-gifted in my own family. It's always nice opening something you gave to an Aunt twelve years ago.
While I open boxes from Nordstrom's that contain puzzles from Wal-Mart as others receive $59 cupcakes, I am reminded that there's just nothing quite like the holidays.
After all, it's not Christmas until you are watching the news and it's suddenly interrupted by a commercial consisting of Oprah shouting:
“It's that tiiiiiime againnnnnnn!”