I don't want to be an Irish Fisherman
What I am about to say may send shock waves through the economic community-- even though the health of the economy depends on a robust holiday shopping season, I don't want any Christmas presents from my Mom. I love my Mom... but the problem is for the past eight years she has given me an off-white cable knit sweater. And I just don't have the heart to tell her I never wear even one, let alone eight off-white cable knit sweaters. They just end up at Goodwill. Either my Mom can't remember me rolling my eyes after I opened the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth cable knit sweaters or for some reason my Mom thinks I have outfit a crew of Irish fishermen. Whatever the case, the odds are, again this year, I will get yet another off-white cable knit sweater.
The most frustrating part of the gift-giving season is every year my Mom asks me want I want for Christmas, every year I say "Go to the Gap because I can return whatever you get," and every year, for the past eight, she get's a cable knit sweater from some place with a lousy return policy, located somewhere I am never going to be.
My Dad on the other hand, for spiritual reasons, wants to have a Christmas without presents and focus on the joy of family and togetherness. For financial reasons, I'd like to take him up on it because the problem with getting a gift for my parents is that they are now officially old and can't learn how to use anything invented since color T.V. Whatever we get them ends up in the basement or... Goodwill.
We gave my parents a VCR ten years ago and it was absolute hell trying to teach them to use the damn thing. When I told my Dad, to play the VCR he had to leave the T.V. on channel three, he said, "Three is the weather channel. We don't watch three. We watch two, four and five."
I so look forward to the day when I can throw some wrapping paper and a few empty boxes around the living room and trick my Mom into thinking that we've already opened our presents. She'll ask if I like what she got me and I'll say "I like the shirt you gave me so much I'm wearing it already."
But, actually the market analysts don't have a lot to fear from me this year-- using some form of insane logic my brothers and I have voluntarily jumped, once more, into gift giving hell. Even though it took months to explain the VCR to my Dad and ten years later my Mom still can't program it, this year we are giving my parents their first... computer. And therefore, for inexplicable reasons, the economy will continue to grow.