Some say I’m a scrooge; they might be right,
But here are three exhibits offered in my defense:
1. Decades after a career in retail I still suffer from a condition common among retail survivors which I named Post-Traumatic Holiday Shock Syndrome (PTHSS).
2. Since I don’t wait for the holidays to give someone a gift, I don’t get all worked up about holiday giving. Not that the ladies mind getting stuff all year, it’s just that they also want me to be all giddy about giving at Christmas-time.
Giddy? Bah! Humbug!
3. As an avowed contrarian, it would be antithetical for me to feel obligated to follow everyone else. And one thing that is part and parcel to the holiday season is obligation. For example:
a) If someone gives my significant other and me a last-minute Christmas gift, “Other” feels obligated to reciprocate. Not me. Perhaps I’ll do something nice for them in May.
b) If a holiday card is received late from someone not on your list, do you rush to get one out to them? I don’t; maybe next year. Giving should be voluntary, not obligatory. In fact, to a scrooge, not reciprocating is endearing.
It’s not that I don’t like the holidays. As a Christian, this is an important time in my faith life. And as a capitalist, the importance of holiday spending is not lost on me. I just don’t care for what modern society hath wrought on this season, and if that makes me a scrooge, guilty as charged.
On behalf of my misunderstood brethren and sistren (I heard of a female scrooge once) let me clear up a few things.
1. Scrooges can be lovable – even cute.
2. Some scrooges are quite generous, just without the giddiness.
3. A scrooge can be compassionate without saying, “Bless their hearts.”
To influence my acquittal, I now offer two challenges into evidence:
1. I will try to be more receptive to, and tolerant of, the silly parts of the holidays and those who perpetuate said silliness. But, please, be patient; the mill of a scrooge grinds slowly.
2. Let’s all be more generous, loving, thankful and spiritual all year long.
Imagine what would happen if we all practiced peace on earth, goodwill toward everyone, every day. It might sound something like this: “I know it’s the middle of July, but let’s help those people right now!”
Write this on a rock…Peace to you and yours. Shalom. Salaam. Que la paz este con ustedes.
Jim Blasingame is one of the world's leading experts on small business and entrepreneurship. He is the creator and award-winning host of the nationally syndicated radio program, The Small Business Advocate® Show. In addition to his weekly columns, Jim is the author of two books; Small Business is like a Bunch of Bananas and Three Minutes to Success.