Thursday, December 28, 2006

Holiday Hazards of the Pretentious

Everybody wants to sound sophisticated, but I find it's always best to stick with what you know, especially when it comes to language. Perfect example: One of my affected coworkers has decided to add a little continental flair to her Outlook calendar by adding a note in French on January 1. The only problem: she's managed to wish Francophones a 'happy ass' instead of a Happy New Year.

Wishing your happy asses a happy new year.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Buy Nothing

Even though I work in retail product design, I'm all for Buy Nothing Day. We're prompted at every turn to buy more, and it, in turn prompts massive consumer debt, pointless materialism, and environmental damage. Buy Nothing Day is the day after Thanksgiving, traditionally considered to be the biggest shopping day of the year: even though it's not the most socially-positive reason to participate, it's a perfectly good excuse to avoid the malls.

This year, Buy Nothing Day advocates are proposing Buy Nothing Christmas, a way to return meaning and add conscious consumption to the holiday. Buy Nothing Christmas does not necessarily advocate stiffing your loved ones on gifts, but it does suggest that homemade, fair trade, environmentally-sound, or reused/recycled gifts are more meaningful - both for the recipient and for the earth.

You can make your holiday substantially more relaxing by eschewing shopping on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. Read, walk, talk, draw, compose a poem, write a history, play with your pets, meditate, pray, volunteer: all of these things are apt to make more memories than waiting in line at a store. Merry Christmas.