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Its not a Cure, but might Alleviate Affluenza a little Bit!

Sep 24, 2006

My birthday is coming up on the 25th. This means a few different things. First it means that I'm getting older, but I don't really think worry or care much about my age. I never really have.
However, more importantly it means that summer is winding down, September is almost over and the holiday season is going to start rushing in soon.

Each year I fight a war against a type of flu bug with my family. Its not the type of flu bug that keeps you trapped in bed with a fever or running for the bathroom every 20 minutes or even something worse. Its the type of flu bug that runs up your credit card bills, fills up your attic, your storage areas, your closets, your garage, and forces you to by a new home twice as big as your last home every 2 years.

Its the type of flu bug that is rapidly making manufacturer's in China wealthy and creating a new middle class in China. This same flu bug has created some of the largest land fills in the world full of garbage and debrit that will not degrade for thousands of years if ever.

I'm talking about Afluenza, the juxtaposition of affluence and influenza, the bug that makes us not only buy stuff, but buy stuff we don't really need or want. St Nicholas may have been reinvented for good wholesome reasons to spark a service back to the church or he may have been the creation of some Madison Avenue retailers around the turn of the century, but the holiday we know of as Christmas has been hijacked by consumerism infecting people with afluenza.

Each year I try to convince the family to drop the gifts and spend the funds on those things that will bring us together for more quality time and less quantity of presents, and the wrapping paper and all the things that make us nuts for a flash in the pan few seconds of gift opening, only to rush to throw away all the garbage and move on down the road to the next celebration.

Since I can't convince anyone to get away from the gift idea, I think I will attempt a slightly new direction. Offering up reusable packaging and providing gifts that can be used and will be used immediately.

I'm thinking of Gift Baskets & Christmas Gifts packed with food, or grilling stuffs, or cookies or plane tickets to come visit or something. Something has to break the cycle that seems to be rubbing out the pleasantries of Christmas and replacing it with a mad rush to haul stuff from the local Wal-Mart back to home where the package goods can be double packaged in gift wrap, then shuttled down the road to Grandma's house, where both sets of packaging will be wripped to shreds and sent to the landfill leaving something in the middle that might look remotely useful or interesting, but only gets packed up, hauled home and stored in a pile of similar things collected in previous years.

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WooHoo ed by Brett Bumeter at 2:07 PM  


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