Yes, the holidays are upon us. Call me sentimental, but there is a familiar feel to this year's season that I haven't felt for a long, long time. I was born in 1971. I can remember the Carter recession, long gas lines, and advertisements in grocery stores that identified them as "inflation fighters." The ad that comes to mind was a huge screen print poster of a woman cracking the word "INFLATION" in half with a rolling pin.
In those days we shopped at K-Mart where the novelty was that everything was made in China. And Christmas then meant maybe one toy we asked for and then a lot of kick-knacks. We always got pajamas, and on a good year slippers too. Stocking-stuffers included hair ribbons, Q-tip swabs, a toothbrush, and my mother's special care package that had an apple, a tangerine, hard ribbon candy and mixed nuts.
As the current financial crisis continues, I can't help but be encourage by an increase in what I consider sanity to holiday purchases. The frenzy seems to be gone, and in it's place thoughtfulness has re-emerged as consumers carefully consider how to spend the money they actually have as opposed to a ridiculous amount of credit used in years past. Gift giving, with the absence of credit just may regain its soul, and in turn so might the holiday season.