Breaking from the Christmas Break

It’s always good to have an endless supply of chumps at one’s disposal to make an already bulging wallet…burst!

Retailers are happy that the yearly winter holiday event they basically created and nurtured over the last 150 years here in America continues to reap rewards…for them!

Retailers Feel Shoppers’ Christmas Cheer – via wsj.com

Americans of all income levels, feeling flush, boosted their holiday spending

Retailers are enjoying some extra Christmas cheer.

Fueled by high consumer confidence and a robust job market, U.S. retail sales in the holiday period rose at their best pace since 2011, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks both online and in-store spending.

Sales, excluding automobiles, rose 4.9% from Nov. 1 through Christmas Eve, compared with a 3.7% gain in the same period last year, according to the Mastercard Inc. MA 0.29% unit, which tracks all forms of payment. E-commerce continued to drive the gains, rising 18.1%.

Jesus must be beaming!

“Fueled by high consumer confidence” (a/k/a massive marketing campaigns, guilting anyone and everyone to buy “something” for the relative they see once a year) and a “robust job market” (where, we’re not sure) home prices in 80% of American cities grew faster than wages, – why it’s a “wonderland” of American holiday glad-tidings!  Leave it the Wall St. Journal to tell it like it isn’t.

This Christmas, I had the pleasure of contracting a cold, along with bronchitis, the flu and any other winter solstice ailment known. Not only does it provide a chance to take a rain check until next year on those holiday gatherings of family, relatives and the strangers they bring along – it gives one a chance to be blessedly alone.

Yet even alone on Christmas, there are diversions (if one has any type of electronic “entertainment” device) that abound to keep one’s mind occupied in between aches, coughing fits and endless sniffling, with all their accompanying moans.

Watching “A Christmas Story” over and over again is at the top of the list of truly enjoyable diversions, even if “back then”, Christmas was a day of commercialized nonsense.

Sadly, when one is feeling poorly and doesn’t want to move, one has to endure  commercials highlighting upcoming TV shows about every 7 minutes. After watching the upcoming extravaganza of American “entertainment” on the horizon, it’s quite easy to understand that the end of humanity, at least here in America, is in full swing.

And those jobs…well, if you have one and you just happen to be employed by the federal government, you have reason to celebrate.  The rest of us…not so much.

The average federal worker in 2016 earned $86,365. With benefits, the total compensation was $123,160.

The average nonfederal pay in the nation was $58,726, with total compensation at $69,901. – via thewashingtonexaminer.com

Bummer!

To be expected, after all, the federal government has a host of “programs”, departments of scams and brainwashing agencies to keep afloat, not to mention somehow explaining how the government, since 9/11, has lost $58,000…every second!

I’ve heard, read or maybe just imagined in my delusional state with seasonal sickness joys, that Jesus’ actual birthday is thought to be sometime in September. Plenty of links abound on this on the world wide waste if one wants to check further.

So, as I watched “A Christmas Story” over and over again, interspersed with viewings of  “The Bishop’s Wife” and “It’s a Wonderful Life”, I thought what a horrible distraction commercialized Christmas is, keeping us at arm’s length from all that is really going on around each of us – as is nearly everything presented to us from the media or government in the modern era. I thought how blessed am I to be able to lay on a couch, with a simple seasonal ailment, with a furnace that works, food in the refrigerator and Henry, the lovable canine, at my side.

The scarf given that provides warmth to others who already have warmth – the jewelry given to others who have more than enough  – the knick-knack given to add to a room full of knick-knacks… and the ever-present gift card – rarely given with enough denomination to allow for any real dent to be made toward the necessities one might need, but more as a token of the season – this is what constitutes Christmas for so many.

remi-walle-86579I watch car after car ignore the homeless person on the corner asking for…anything.  Individuals lives are near ruin, yet the wealthier of the relatives wouldn’t even know of their sufferings…because they don’t care to ask. Here’s a $25 dollar gift certificate to Amazon – be wise in how you spend it!  And who knows how Amazon executives are using those profits!

I could be wrong, but then again, I don’t recall having ever read of any of Jesus’ messages being that one must spend money in order to celebrate his humble beginnings.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a job where you can take this week “off” and still be paid for it, have a government job where you salary and accompanying benefits can set things right if you have the least bit of common sense with money – if you aren’t suffering from homelessness, illness, bad relationships, loneliness, poverty, deplorable jobs, broken homes and isolation – think of others in your ring of relatives, friends, acquaintances – loved ones who just might be suffering and help them. And if there are no such persons in your world…the next time you see that homeless person on the street corner begging for spare change, hand them whatever greenback you have – for unless you’ve been “there”, you have no idea how much your generosity can help.

Tonight’s musical offering:

Handel: “Watermusic Suite No. 3” ~ Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,

Photo credit (front page):  http://www.unsplash.com@markusspiske

Photo credit: http://www.unsplahs.com@waire037