What’s On Your Christmas List?

Getting Off The Rat Race Ladder

Are you looking forward to the Holiday Season this year? I am also anticipating the season, but my thinking is likely greatly different than what it used to be 3 or 4 decades ago.

Christmas is coming, but my wife and I are far removed from the maddness of the holiday rush; I expect no gifts and have none I am planning to give. God has me in a different place.

As an independent contractor/Internet Entrepreneur, I'll be happy with a continued steady flow of assignments. My income is sporadic and very much based upon what God wants for my life. Even in the face of a disastrous economy, His provision is without measure.

I have managed to avoid the unemployment rolls (though I feel I am federally counted among the jobless) and still cover my "nut".

As we look forward to the coming holiday season, it is good to be among a group of friends who have left the gifting rat race.

In fact, I have found online shopping much more to my liking. It fits my time schedule (anywhere from 6am to midnight) and my mobility status (presently mobility scooter bound).

Start your shopping early at the Modeler's Mall.

I was in Best Buy last week amid a massive crowd clogging the aisles and demo areas like kids at the candy store window. I spoke to a woman whose job it was to track what was actually happening. I said to her "you'd never believe we're in the worst economy ever based on the number of shoppers in here today".

She replied, "shoppers yes, buyers no", and explained she usually is tracking $8,000 to $10,000 in sales by that point in the late day. She presently had about $800.

"They are mostly lookers, shopping for a better price, no one is buying," she concluded.

We are paying for our past over-indulgence; I can remember spending thousands to keep up with a swollen gift exchange between families and friends.

Today, how many of those gifts are among my treasured possessions, better still, how many can I find?


In reality, I am much happier spending this time of year with my wife and our church family.

I think that's it. It was nice to get toys (and we all did!), but I think having fun and enjoying friendships is far better. It's interesting to note that when one matures that Christmas is more interesting to give something of yourself rather than to receive toys.

This is one of the reasons a lot of my finished models aren't on display in my room after Christmas. They became gifts for others

There is a reason retailers count on this season as the profit center for the year and there is a reason it starts earlier and earlier every year.

Marian Salzman, chief marketing officer for Porter Novelli, a New York public relations agency, says the continuing instability on Wall Street has led to a complete loss of consumer confidence at the worst possible time for the retail industry.

"How is that going to translate? Into low gift-giving or no gift-giving," she said. "I see very small, incremental charitable donations replacing retail purchases. . . . From a retail standpoint, it's going to be dismal."

I left the rat race about six years ago and have found my real needs are a lot smaller than they used to be.