Monday, November 7, 2011

Magpie Tales: Re(pinning)tails on the Donkey


There are 46 shopping days until Christmas
but this should be no surprise as the store
decor is already collecting dust, its been up
so long and the sale fliers promising the best
deals have stuffed Sunday papers for months

Chances are if you haven't bought it yet,
you might not get it, at least  that is what
they want you to think because
There are 46 shopping days until Christmas

Do you feel the stress, the need to fulfill all
your children's wants, the guilt if not, 'cause
you know your neighbor will, and what about
white elephant gifts for office parties where
you will drink too much to make it feel like
the holidays or help you forget all the money
you spent, or that you cant even pry open
you wallet for all the melted plastic, because
credit is your friend, and works in your best
interest, at 18 percent

(or was that the 99, i get so confused) but
There are 46 shopping days left until Christmas

Dearly beloved, friends, family, family friends
and acquaintances who happened to wander
in to make me feel obligated to give you presents,
Moore is dead, the ghost of Christmas Past
when our spending habits were dictated by gluttony
masquerading by prosperity and please don't act
as shocked as when you get the bill in January
that he left you nothing in his will, so you will
have to rely on your own will-power to keep
from paying for it, and it's not holiday cheer
the bill collector's spread after the first of the year
because

There are 46 shopping days until Christmas
And thousands of Turkeys out there hope
Thanks-giving only refuels you for Black
Friday spending, because love is bought in
the giving and its second cousin getting, not
the thanks-fullness at the beginning---

Ho, ho, oh no, pass the egg nog because
There are only 46 shopping days left---
until Christmas!

This is a Magpie Tale.

79 comments:

TechnoBabe said...

Commercial propaganda does not work on me. Sad state of life to be guilted into buying beyond your means and even that is not enough. Great writing.

Mama Zen said...

This is brilliant, Brian. What a tight write!

Selina Kingston said...

Only 46 .....!

C.M. Jackson said...

ho ho ---you are revved up today!! great magpie!

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Brian,

Beautifully written thought provoking post.

Many things come to my mind on reading your line of thoughts.

First, when we have children the Christmas is very special. We keep discussing about the arrival of Christmas many months in advance. We make preparations for making stars, decorations, presents, new dress, what to cook and what to buy and what will make the children happy and how to make them happy. The whole family is engaged in actively discussing the preparations for Christmas.

Secondly, whatever preparations and calculations we make, we end up spending more than what we can legitimately afford and then sit and worry about paying up debts or paying installments.

Thirdly, the shops and establishment come out months in advance with their exciting advertisements and bargains which will tempt us to spend and spend until we are broke.

The Christmas day as such comes and goes in a jiffy but the planning and preparations which keep us on our toes.

The excitement of the children to locate their gifts in the middle of the night is a wonderful experience.

These lovely memories flashed before me scene after scene upon reading your fantastic post.

Best wishes,
Joseph

Pat said...

Wow! What a great write! I felt my muscles tightening up just reading this! I HATE when the stores push Christmas in September!

AmyLK said...

Ok. I did not need to be reminded of how many days are left! lol

Christine said...

done shopping, I get into the swing before the advertisers, that, and I hate the crowds-on a note about the 99%, came back from a convention that made me think we are really the 1% of the world, ya bail outs suck and North America has been given a reality check but honestly look at the global picture, we are the 1% of the planet that have everything, missed you Brian, now I need to catch up

happygirl said...

This was BRILLIANT. I felt the urgency in it. And really, only 46 more days? Oh my. I'm going to celebrate Advent this year and then the 12 days of Christmas. Something new.

Helen said...

I've just returned from big city Atlanta where the holidays are in full swing! Thank goodness it hasn't begun out here on the high desert! Pass me the eggnog (and rum.)

anthonynorth said...

46 days to Xbox ... I mean Xmas ... Excellent write.

She Writes said...

"...gluttony masquerading by prosperity..." and "...credit is your friend, and works in your best
interest, at 18 percent"

How things have changed in a few years. Perhaps, though painful, these are better years than those that masqueraded.

Eva Gallant said...

Great poem, loaded with truths.

Magpie said...

It's far too commercial these days. I agree. I fight the urge to feel guilty all the time, but I long for the old days...

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

this is nice Sir! my Xmas shopping started sept 1. as we need to send it early if we want it to reach its destination on time.

for myself? well... ill see what is left on my pocket after paying my bill... hehehe...

love it!

JJRod'z

Other Mary said...

Amazing Brian! Love it.

Valerie said...

That is one brilliant piece of writing, Brian.

All done here and no worries...lol. I beat the shops to it this year so I'm a happy bunny.

mylittlewordz said...

Great write, and clever inclusion of the image name.
And thanks for visiting my blog on many occasions, sorry to be slow getting over here.

Jamie

Tino said...

I hope you dont mind, but I roared with laughter reading this piece. Its brilliant how you put it together with the prompt, unless its just my own sic mind at work?
I believe firmly in the Kick Christmas Back Into December, where it belongs.
Still laughing!

Tara Miller said...

That was a fun and eye opening all too true tale of Christmas shopping frenzy!! Glad we don't buy into all of this. I think the shopping is fun as long as staying within budget...and saving room for a pumpkin spice latte ;)

Pat Hatt said...

Now I have a machine gun
Ho Ho Ho..haha oh you made that pop into my head, had to use it.

Yeah the stupid wishbook came out in August, have to grant those christmas wishes oh sooo early. Down right pathetic, especailly black friday trampling people to death for a whole $10 off! Wow! You captured it well, stupid commercialism.

Heather said...

Perfectly said!!!!!! I am only using cash this year....not spending more than we can afford...(wow, can't believe it's only 46 days) the kids want a cat...they are free when you adopt them!)
:)
ps - I will be traveling for a few days so i might be slow at getting around to visit! xo

Daniel said...

There seems to be a bit of zest behind these words today. A bit stressed are we? (smiles)

Jim Swindle said...

An excellent attack on blind consumerism.

rosaria said...

Brian, you nailed it!

Heaven said...

My X'mas decors are not up yet...These lines are meaningful ~

"because love is bought in
the giving and its second cousin getting, not
the thanks-fullness at the beginning---"

Love this post ~

Fred said...

Really cool write Brian. The under(pinning) of repetition in this piece is awesome as it not only reinforces the line itself but as it ties thoughts up as we read the words between. Great piece, thanks

Nana Jo said...

Wonderful take on Moore ... and More! Your sentiments reflect mine own.

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

I always wonder why people spend so much money and effort on others around christmas time... I like to spread it out throughout the year.

Jinksy said...

Wonderful weaving of Christmas with a monumental need to bury its commercialism! LOL ♥

Sue said...

Perfect.

=)

ayala said...

Nice, why buy into it? The best is how they target the children with all the advertising ..... Fun write!

Susie Clevenger said...

How how true!! You have stated the modern idea of Christmas perfectly!!

Myrna R. said...

Yes, sad how some who are already in debt are stressing over making more debt for Christmas.

You state the new material message of Christmas so well. Hope we can rediscover the spiritual one.

Claudia said...

you touch a sensitive topic as i think many people are under pressure with the christmas gifts - esp. when it is for their kids and they know the neighbor kids will get what their own kids dream of..there was a time when we really didn't have much money and we talked to and with our kids about it - not in a way to burden them but to give them a different perspective..

Kay said...

bah humbug!!! great read, we are individuals who have choices...thats all...by the way what is black friday..it seems to pushing itself into the UK??..lol ;0)

Lyn said...

Grim reality this year...but hearts can give warmth and companionship....we can change! You are very awake!!

turtlememoir said...

Love your take on the pic prompt, unique and very entertaining, at least for those like me who do not stress out over the Xmas rush anymore... for which I am truly thankful. I'll have some turkey though, please, if I may. :)

Mijayami said...

Fantastic, as always. My parents raised me to be frugal and to never spend more than I have but it seems I'm in the minority, especially in this country. I wish that more people could understand there's more to Christmas & gift-giving than the price tag -- and teach their children that it's ok to not get everything they want.

thingy said...

Biting words. I didn't get you anything, I'm afraid. Just my respect of your writing : )

46 days. Ugh.

Roy Schulze said...

An excellent start to my annual x-mas cynicism. Thanks for sharing. My Magpie this week is A Plot Both Great and Grand.

ipenka said...

This was brilliant. Sometimes I am guilty of falling for the commercialization *hangs head in shame*

Btw, laughed at the bit about the interest rate and 99 percent.

Victoria said...

I have absolutely no problem with reposting something for a prompt, Brian, and this is so spot-on. One of my pet peeves as well. But now you've got me thinking...only 46 days? Or is it less, now! Thanks for joining the prompt. I'm back in the desert now. Ahhh. Quiet.

Anyes said...

I have been lucky not to feel too much pressure to being spending out of obligation towards either family or friends for Christmas.
Lots of insights and lots to reflect upon :-)

secret agent woman said...

Nope - I feel no pressure. I'll shop when I have a chance and the presents are the least of the holiday for me.

otin said...

Well, you better not pout
You'd better not cry
I'm hiding my head
'till the fourth of July

Spending money just makes me frown

I looked at your list
I laughed at it twice
You'll never get me
to pay such a price

Spending money just makes me frown

lol

hedgewitch said...

Bah freakin humbug! Nice take, Brian. Truer words.

Kathy Bischoping said...

I like your refrain and how hearing it changes in the course of the reading, as well as how you kept this in a consistent, credible t-oneself voice.

Caty said...

"More" (Moore) never really puts you in his will...I couldn't believe it when I walked into Walmart Nov 1st and they had Christmas music playing! Ugh...I'm hand making all my presents this year...guess I should get started with only 46 days left! And of course, this was a great write, Brian. :)

Morning said...

I'm sure you can handle the stress by either ignoring it for now, or redefining the meaning of Christmas.

What do you want for Christmas?
Make a list, post it, someone may send them to you.

For now, please stay easy, simply read a book to your boy, and kiss him good night.

Very powerful insights on business driven shopping, a practical and inspiring magpie.

PattiKen said...

I have spent not one minute nor one cent shopping for Christmas. Remind me again when there are maybe, oh, ten days or so left.

Bah, humbug.

Isabel Doyle said...

and when we are under the stone, is shopping what we remember?
fine piece

M. A. S. said...

I was enjoying the realism, but really wondering about the relation between the poem and prompt. It was nicely done. Didn't mind waiting for it.

Nanka said...

Brilliant and a small message too, a warning very gently put!! I must say it has come just in time, as there are 46 days more!! This is amusing, entertaining, and very enjoyable!!

farmlady said...

Yep! Well... this says it all.
I hope you weren't expecting a gift...

Dave King said...

Oh, the very thought of it! You put it nicely into an exact perspective.

Lord Thomas of Wellington said...

nice!! :)

Birdie said...

nice one Brian ... you may remember when I wrote about how we need to stop producing just to produce ... so many stuff everywhere ... and we people get so easily fooled ... happy days!

SueAnn said...

Ha!! Oh so true!! Commercialism is rampant and "Come buy me" signs everywhere!!
Loved this for sure
Hugs
SueAnn

izzy said...

In my view giving and getting are holding hands- no second cousins
in my house! Twins-
I am winding down in the gift department, (never really got started this year.) Normally I browse about and am done by now. Thanks.

Lorraine said...

I love the feeling inside at Christmas, and alone I feel it more

adeeyoyo said...

We were just saying all this yesterday, Brian. It is too commercial, all propaganda, well-said, Brian!

Josh Hoyt said...

I love this and it is exactly how I feel. I get so tired of how quickly they put up Christmas. I guess there must only be a few of us that feel this way though because money is what drives corporate decisions :)

chiccoreal said...

Dear Brian: "Only 46 shopping days until Christmas"? Frantic has sent in! Trueism in every sense of the word. Didn't we realize this? Thinking material wealth is the only kind of wealth? What? Were we nuts?

our spending habits were dictated by gluttony
masquerading by prosperity

Kunal said...

Some of the lines left me in splits..'credit is your friend...' haha and '..you have to rely on the will power...'

Thankfully...Christmas for us..(if you are aware of Diwali.. :P ) is over...and all the money went up in noise and lights...

Some of the marketing is just over the top..and we do have to think carefully about spending on things..which are necessary and also providing happiness to the family members...

Well..happy shopping then..you have only 46 days! ;)

Lena said...

Oh, I'd love to pin this up on a few walls, I can tell you.....! Well, I can't or else they'd know it was coming! ...take that and eggnog, I say!!

The Orange Tree said...

Your magpie is Divine!
I mean you express your stress in poetic senses, without having your readers feel anything at all.

What impresses your readers most is that; you always speak wearing the other party's shoes. And never let envy spoil your beautiful writing.

Keep writing magpie tales, everyone loves reading your creations.

;)

Tess Kincaid said...

Dark, interesting take, Brian...

The Silver Fox said...

Brian, one of your better ones... and that's saying a LOT!

"credit is your friend, and works in your best interest, at 18 percent" Indeed. Excellent!

Margaret said...

Thank God overspending at Christmas is a thing of the past for us! We have new gift giving "traditions" now and the kids love it. We give them a bit of cash to spend after Christmas -not the day after, heaven forbid, and we all purchase $10 and under gifts for each other. And we also have to give a piece of art in some form...

Lazidaisical said...

Very entertaining; nice unique perspective on this week's prompt!

lifeisaroadtrip said...

I'm excited about Christmas now because I am actually going HOME to celebrate it for the first time in probably 25 years.

Rachel Hoyt said...

Haha. I LOL'ed at your reference to the 99%. Very witty!!!

I actually usually start shopping super early to spread out the expense and NOT get that credit card bill, so I am feeling really behind after reading your post. :) Oh well.

Carrie Burtt said...

This is awesome Brian....thought provoking and made me smile to....love it! :-)

lori said...

Ah, yes. Holiday stress is here. I decided to push it all away and enjoy every bit of the good stuff. I do love the joy that sits below the surface, but there are also a lot of opportunities for sadness to creep in and take over instead.

william said...

hate to even mention the C word lol, but its comin, and fast, this was a great story mate.

~T~ said...

Thanks for this cautionary tale!

ds said...

I love love your take on this! I, too, mourn the loss of Thanksgiving to the Powers of Christmas Grasp, but not nearly so cleverly, or pointedly.
So well done. Thank you.

Syd said...

I don't want to be reminded. I would rather we all donate to a charity. I have nothing I want. Yet, I have everything I need.