Monday, December 28, 2009

I'm poor again. That was easy.

I have a friend who declared earlier this month that she wanted nothing to do with Christmas. Not only did the constant reminders of rampant consumerism and religious messages bother her, but she was also averse to the ideal alternative of spending the time with family for a great meal, because her partner's turkey-eating family can't come to terms with the couple's vegetarianism.

We brainstormed ways of avoiding Christmas, especially on a nearly absent budget. This would be difficult: stores are closed, and those that are open are blaring Merry Christmas messages all over. I think we settled on "dig a hole" and "walk to Kanata" as the best options, though a few days before Christmas she gave in to celebrating the damn holiday, in some form or another.

But still, it's an interesting question for future reference: how could my friend avoid Christmas (for little to no money?)

* * *

I suffer a similar Christmas dilemma myself, because as much as I bemoan it and downplay it (for example, I keep my standard greeting instead of using a "seasonal" one when saying goodbye, except for the occasional "Happy Humbug"), I do, technically, celebrate it. That is, I go to the annual family gathering and stay a few days, and it's become a tradition for me to stay at my aunt's place where I watch Cable TV marathons of sci fi films and TV shows.

I also exchange gifts, though in a very limited fashion. My dad was kind enough this year to throw politeness to the wind and flat out asked me what I wanted, and gave me a list of gift ideas for himself (very useful, as we're both hard to shop for). This generally involved links to various products on the MEC website. I can't tell if it's superficial or transparent, but whatever it is, it seems to work.

* * *

I am also lucky enough to receive money for Christmas, plus a meagre bonus at work. Last year, I had enough to buy a new bed, and this year I was hoping to be able to replace my laptop.

Unfortunately, my savings are still low, due to borrowing from them to buy a projector in June and a camera last month (and I haven't sold the old one yet). To buy a new laptop, I'd have to borrow even more from my savings. Since my job is not secure past March 31st, replenishing my savings is the most prudent course of action.

After doing so, and deducting the price of my gifts to others, I calculated I had a hundred or two to spend on my whims. This is remarkably difficult for someone who delights in useless free shit found in the trash. So I went to Staples yesterday to gratify my consumerist desires, and noticed a bin of those big red buttons that speak out "that was easy!" when you press them. I wondered, who the hell would actually buy one of those?!? (No, I didn't)

As I left the store, I considered the total price of the new toy plus a spare camera battery from Henry's. As I returned to my bike, I muttered to myself:

"I'm poor again. That was easy!"

- RG>

1 comment:

XUP said...

I try to do something different every Christmas so that whatever I do isn't and/or doesn't consititute a "tradition"...because tradition spells obligation and that's no fun. I've known several people who've bought those Staples things, by the way. If you make it, they will buy it (hey that might be something to take into consideration in solving your financial situation)