The Thinking 

‘Tis the Season of Homo Economicus

November 24, 2012


A READER writes:

I appreciated that Thanksgiving essay, articulating the value and love of tradition (though the family’s consumption of pies, pastries, candies, and soda pop left me concerned about blood-sugar levels). It came just in time, as we drive past overcrowded shopping malls and homes with garish displays of holiday lights and inflatable Santa scenes already disturbing the peaceful night. Carols have been replaced by Irving Berlin tunes. (No matter; no one knows how to sing anymore.) Christmas, the religious holiday, finally has been eclipsed by the Winter Retail Holiday. I’m sure the Homo economicus elite is pleased.

I don’t know if you remember that scene in the movie, Gandhi, where Gandhi sits alone at his spinning wheel, the breeze gently unfurling his flag and slapping its clips against the flagpole. The sense of isolation was overwhelming. That’s akin to how we feel at Christmastime.

—- Comments —

James P. writes:

I noticed around here that the Christmas displays instantly went up the day after Halloween — overnight, everything went from orange and black to red and green. Normally all that schlock doesn’t go up until after Thanksgiving. I put this down to economic desperation.

Laura writes:

That has been true for at least ten years where I live. Christmas decorations go up (in stores) right after Halloween.

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