30 Years Of El Paso Christmas: I Sympathize with ‘Scrooge’ More Every Year
I actually love Christmas and probably always will. So, when I say I identify with Ebenezer Scrooge more as I get older I don’t mean about EVERYTHING. I think charity toward the less fortunate is a wonderful thing and I’m all for health care for all so poor Tiny Tim can get the care he so desperately needs.
But…Scrooge has definitely got a couple of valid points here.
I’m going with the George C. Scott portrayal from 1984 because that’s the first one I saw. Patrick Stewart and Michael Caine are both great but there’s nothing quite like having General Patton barking humbugs and shattering your Yuletide delusions. Here’s the part of Scrooge’s conversation with his nephew that I especially relate to:
“What is Christmas but a time for buying things for which you have no need?” - Ebenezer Scrooge
BAM! Ol’ Eb really nailed that one. Christmas shopping is really a balancing act of getting another person a gift of equal or similar value to what you expect to get from them. Whether the person needs it or even WANTS it is completely secondary. The main goal is to be able to say, “Here. I got you a gift”.
The most infuriating part, for me, is that no one can tell me WHAT THEY ACTUALLY WANT. When someone on my list says, “I dunno” what I HEAR is “I’ve got everything I need already”. Here’s what ends up happening: you get a gift card and HOPEFULLY you use every penny because if you don’t that’s all pure profit for Starbucks or wherever. It’s all so…so, transactional. How about instead of a gift card we just swap fifty-dollar bills? It would be just as personal AND you could spend it anywhere you want instead of just one place?
Instead of me giving you a gift card and you got me a gift card, how about we just call it a draw and save ourselves the expense and effort? Maybe we each donate the dollar amount to a charity. I think that’s something even Scrooge and Nephew Fred could agree on.