The holidays bring about a lot of things. One of those that we seem to focus on most, shopping. Theoretically, shopping will improve the economy. However, realistically, shopping also puts people in serious debt. With the state of the current economy, this cultural construct that has associated love with gifts has made us into a materialistic nation - an image we quite literally can no longer afford to uphold.
The idea of living within your means has become an outdated notion as credit cards have taken over financial woes. Lack of cash has been replaced with layaway and payment plans, loans and lines of credit, and even better - the offer of bankruptcy as a quick fix with limited strings attached.
We are living in a generation where money is being thrown around like it does grow in the community garden. College graduates are so far in debt, with no job in sight, that the prospect of debt-free doesn't seem like a phrase they should consider in their vocabulary. Citizens are facing an economy that can no longer pretend to support ideas like 'long-term security' and 'low risk.' Yet, the holidays always bring new hope to struggling businesses.
Why? Because people are unwavering in their willingness to dole out wads of cash [read: credit] during the holiday season to perpetuate tradition, to keep the status qou. And I am no exception.
So amen to a legitimate excuse to spend money you don't have on the people you love (and yourself, especially yourself)!