It makes me feel nasty and conflicted to wish I'd bought more things just to prolong the opening of presents on Christmas morning. Things no one needs, like DVDs of movies that were just decent.
It is this casual desire for an overflowing pile under the Christ-mas tree, like the plume of a rocket that blinds you in its brightness, noise, and atomic bomb shaped cloud spreading in slow-motion, that fuels the economy of growth.
The more they can have us think that way, of perceived-manufactured/in/a/board/room needs, the more presents we buy, the more things are created, the more jobs created, the more americans we can have employed, the happier the president is, the happier america is with the president, the more kids we can afford to have, the more taxes we can ingest, the more farms we can subsidize, the more dominion over creation just like God promised.
Conflicted, because it is such a joy to see your mother feel loved with presents and the thoughtfulness of her children.
and it seems to me that growth is terrifying, and obviously terrifying, and yet every smart economist speaks only of growth. Maybe they must mean smart growth, that starts to exchange breadth for depth... growth in quality of life for the individual, not just the population of the suburbs and the strength of track-housing-development. Maybe.
that said, the spirit of Christmas is a beautiful thing. I love beautiful things. I relish it. but I think of Tolstoy,
'What a strange illusion it is to suppose that beauty is goodness.'
The world as it is, all beautiful things on this planet have a shadow. The ocean is a killer. The rose is red with blood. The shadow we are called to fight and shake, if at least perceive.