In a recently published Scholars Speak piece I ask what a meaningful Christmas gift might be. Do we really need more stuff? Or, could our gift giving express a deeper value of benevolence and care for others, while at the same time honoring those we love?
America is certainly experiencing some hard economic times this holiday season, but let's not forget about those who have so much less. If you make $50,000 a year, you're in the top 1% of the wealthiest people on the planet. At $34,000 you're in the top 5%, and at $25,000 (just above the poverty level for a family of four in the U.S.) you're in the top 10% of the globe's richest. Almost half of the world lives on less than $2.50 a day.
How would we spend money this Christmas if we took these stats seriously? As part of the 99%, many of us could do more.
Here is a teaser for my article:
August. That was the month I saw Christmas decorations appear in my favorite big-box superstore, along with aisles of children’s toys waiting to be snatched up in the coming shopping frenzy. I quickly snapped a picture of the surreal landscape and posted it to Facebook with the caption “Really?” and then headed back to my car through the 105-degree heat.
Retailers have perfected their Christmas marketing strategies. They begin their planning a year in advance, ordering merchandise, shipping stock to warehouses and testing product desirability. The trend to bring larger quantities of fewer items into store inventories earlier and earlier enables vendors to get a jump on competitors. These savvy merchants have turned shopping into a science as they fiercely contend for the half-trillion dollars that Americans will spend on gift giving this holiday season.
Click here for the full piece.