Tuesday, November 20, 2007

GIfts and More Gifts

This afternoon I turned on the TV for background noise and ended up on Oprah. It was an episode called My Favorite Things, during which Oprah shows all of her favorite goods for the holidays. It was basically a one hour advertising session.

The episode was filmed in Macon, Georgia, where 40% of the population is watching Oprah on any given day. Makes me wonder how the people of Macon have so much free time that almost half of the population has time to watch daytime TV.

Oprah gave all the products she reviewed on the show to the audience members. Of course, it was nice for them to receive all kinds of free things. But to see them (mostly middle-aged women) jumping up and down, fanning themselves, kissing each other, and looking like they were going to faint at the sight of a free refrigerator, or worse, a couple of free cupcakes or bars of soap, was pretty depressing.

The holiday season is already well underway and it will only intensify later this week. The big day of shopping begins on Friday, on the day after Thanksgiving. After people give thanks for what they have, they run out to get more. The local drug store began to stock Christmas candy on the same day they removed the Halloween candy.

I’m glad that during my first holiday season in the U.S. in years, Mark and I won’t be celebrating Christmas. While we will buy gifts for relatives who celebrate the holiday, for us, we’re going to replace Christmas with New Year’s as our big celebration. We’ll spend Christmas as a quiet weekend at home – no pomp and no stress.

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