Bah Humbug! A Christmas Rant
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Happy Monday friends! More importantly, happy pre-Christmas Eve! We were watching A Christmas Carol as a family the other night and I came to the realization that I am a lot like Ebeneezer Scrooge. Now, I’m not miserly but I am a bit of a bah humbug when it comes to celebrating the holidays. Mrs. Frugal Rules says I’m a pessimist who likes to rain on her Christmas-song singing, jingle-bell ringing, holiday cheer parade but really, I think I got burned out on those things as they were celebrated to an excess as I was growing up.
I tend to go against the grain in many things, so why not have a little rant during the time of year that we’re supposed to be thankful? Not to mention the fact that as a true Seinfeld fan, I couldn’t allow Festivus to go by and not have an airing of grievances. 😉 That said, please keep in mind as you read my rant, that it’s not against the day or season itself, but more so the massive over-commercialization of it.
I love Christmas, I really do, but do we REALLY need to have Christmas crap hawked at us starting in late August? I kid you not, our Costco here in Omaha had Christmas wrapping paper, Christmas cards and a few ornaments out the last week of August. What happened to Labor Day??
Am I the only one that thinks it’s just a bit nutty to advertise buying a car as a justifiable Christmas gift? I know, you’d be crazy NOT to buy matching Lexus’ for you and your partner, but I just wonder how many of them come out saddled with bloated car loan payments.
Ok, I don’t hate everything about Christmas. I LOVE looking at Christmas lights, for some reason I always have. There are a number of neighborhoods here in Omaha that go all out and pay to have their houses decorated. I wouldn’t personally spend the money to do it, but boy does it look good!
What on earth possesses airline companies to put us consumers over a barrel when it comes to traveling over the Holidays? I know it’s supply and demand, but why on earth jack up the rates two and three fold just because you can? Thankfully we don’t deal with this, but it does hinder family members coming to see us as who wants to spend $900 to fly 1,000 miles?
I just want to know who doesn’t have a calendar. We know a full year in advance when Christmas is coming yet we still rush to buy last minute Christmas gifts because of lack of planning. I can understand being busy and all, but did you not have any better time than 10:00 pm on Christmas Eve to go out and buy presents? What’s even crazier is the amount of money marketers spend convincing us to spend even more money on the days leading up to December 25 th.
I love gift cards, I really do. I also enjoy giving them as gifts if I know the person enjoys the particular place I am buying it from. That said, when I ask for a $25 gift card, does it really make sense to ask me if I want to buy a $100 gift card so I can get a bonus out of it? I know it means I would get more out of it, but why bother hawking something at me so far out of my stated price range?
We have a cat in the Frugal Rules home. However, ever since the last little Frugal Rule became mobile he makes himself scarce as he is outnumbered 3-1 and it usually doesn’t bode well for him. However, that Christmas tree comes out and you’d think that thing was dipped in cat nip. He goes nuts and makes it his life’s mission to grab every last ornament off the tree. I guess I shouldn’t be too upset about that one though, as the kids like to ride him like a horse. 😉
This is less of an issue if we buy something from Amazon, but what person thought up the packaging for toys? Not only do you need a degree in mechanical engineering to get it apart, but you also need to have the hands of Wolverine to get them out of the packaging. By the time they’re out of the box, the kids have moved on and are drunk on Christmas cookies.
Last and certainly not least – Christmas music. I absolutely HATE Christmas music! If I hear Jingle Bells or Silent Night one. more. time. I just may punch myself or drive a railroad spike through both of my ears! Of course, it doesn’t help that I live with Mrs. Claus and her merry little elves. 😉 Mrs. Frugal Rules has been working on me for over a decade, but I just can’t take it any longer.
There you have it friends. Mrs. Frugal Rules thinks I am crazy, and will call me Grinch at times or say Bah Humbug in passing. I do enjoy Christmas, I really do, it’s just some of the things we do to over commercialize it drive me mad. Thankfully, there is always Christmas Vacation or Elf that I can watch to keep myself from ending up in the corner, in the fetal position and sucking my thumb. 🙂
What is it that drives you nuts about Christmas? What is your least favorite Christmas song…come on, I KNOW you’ve got one!
Photo courtesy of: Sarah _Ackerman
John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.
Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.
Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.