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Monday, 3 December 2012

Rant on Christmas

I get a newsletter from Patriot Voices, Rick Santorum's group. He noted this fact, which absolutely shocked me: This year the average family will spend $750 on Christmas gifts.

I am amazed. Why? My family never spent that much on all of us and I never have, either, in the past.  Will that happen this year? What is being bought? Junk? More legos and computer games?

Thankfully, I am out of this loop. But, I hope Catholics remember what Christmas is really about. Really. Advent is a time of penance, not a flurry of shopping trips. Some family choose names. Mine could never be so organized to do that.

I have a suggested list for Christmas presents that would cost much less than the usual.

Novena booklets
A paid retreat for Mom and Dad
The Pope's books on Jesus of Nazareth
The Baronius Missal
The Monastic Diurnal
For the Greater Glory (for guys) DVD

The book
My nameday, come for dessert, on which I raised my son.


Supertradmum said...

Matthew, please re-post. Something got lost here. I think you mentioned the Santorums and electronic stuff.

Matthew Roth said...

Electronics tend to be fairly pricey, and have become a (unfortunate) necessary part of education in high school and college. That $300-600 tablet or laptop will be purchased, it's just a matter of when. The Christmas season is a convenient time to purchase it, because it makes a nice gift at a better price.
Using the number Santorum gave, I calculated the costs for the family of a close friend, who is the oldest of 11. They spend $68.19/person for the oldest 9 children, Mom, and Dad (love the babies, but they really don't get anything). You can get several combinations of a few books, movies, clothes (men's dress shirt is $40+), and trinkets. 2 paperbacks (say $12) plus a decent dress shirt gets you to just under the $68 mark.
I can't justify kids who are spoiled. But $750is not all-too-unreasonable for a middle-class family. There are a number of gifts that are shared between 2 or more siblings. Plus, inflation has driven costs up.