Bah, Humbug!

Last Christmas, I got into it pretty hard. I got presents for most of my friends. I think several of them didn’t expect it and then felt an unwanted obligation. Which wasn’t what I was going for, obviously. This mass production of obligation during the holiday season is one of the most stressful things about it.

I was also interested to find that economists harbor a distaste for Christmas. Sure, it’s a surge of money and consumption in the economy, and transfers of wealth are usually net positives. But, hidden in all that gift-giving is a lot of economic dead weight. People buy things other people don’t want, distorting the normal market workings (c.f. snowman cookie jars). And in general, Christmas consumers overpay by roughly 16%.

But anyway. I’m going to boycott Christmas this year. I won’t be buying gifts for my loved ones and friends* just because it’s the end of the year. As an early New Year’s resolution, I hope to get into the swing of buying and giving gifts when the mood strikes me, not just at culturally appointed times. That’s the hope anyway.

Stepping back, the holiday seems rather ridiculous to me. I like the ethos behind it — love your neighbor and appreciate loved ones. But I coud do without the overwhelming religious and consumer aspects of it.

Obviously, this means I’ll not be expecting any presents either. So no pressure on that end. Everyone wins. This is my little contribution toward both cutting the suicide rate of the holidays and getting our economy back on its feet by avoiding waste. Yay, I’m such a good guy.

* I’ll probably still purchase them for my immediate family.

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