Sunday, December 17, 2006

Stressful Giving

Someone has posted a flyer for a holiday gift wrapping service on the whiteboard
in the break room. In signature green, white and red the flyer promises to take the
stress out the whole business of gift giving this holiday season. Better still one
could enlist the services of a professional holiday shopper.
In all cultures there is a time of year when gifts are exchanged with friends and
family. While the tradition has existed since time immemorial, the material
excesses of modern society makes it increasingly hard to honor and celebrate its
true essence.
Simple and symbolic tokens of love no longer make the grade.The lack of time and
energy to nurture relationships is compensated by elaborate and expensive gifts
that require the services of a professional gift wrapper no less to be good enough
for the recipient.

I used to find it tedious to go shopping during the Pujas and Diwali back home,
watching holiday shoppers in the malls here is downright depressing. I can't help
think about the maxed out credit cards that will take the rest of the year to pay,
the corners that will need to be cut on essential expenses to compenstate for
splurging during the holidays. It reminds me of cash strapped families spending
beyond their means on Diwali and suffering dearly for it.

A few years ago my friend K mentioned that she waits for her annual tax refund
to pay the debts she piles up over the holidays. Knowing that, I felt guilty about
contributing to her financial dire straits when I accepted her Christmas gift.
Having since moved from her town, I am no longer on her holiday shopping list
and very grateful for it.

1 comment:

cheti said...

add a cultural dilemma to it .. its indeed stressful