Christmas Dinner

The green part is the dish I’m really proud of. It’s a healthy version of Southern collard greens with broccoli and green beans. It has not a gram of fat of oil of any kind, yet it still tastes quite Southern (especially to Northerners). The pink is my signature salmon baked with oranges. And the red is the vinegret. 

(The teaspoon is there because it’s Klara’s plate).

Of course, we are planning to go ultra unhealthy on New Year’s, so this is a virtuous dinner in preparation for that mega-bash. 

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Political Buying

And look, by all means, buy “experiences” at Nordstrom’s or toys on Amazon or whatever. Just don’t tell yourself that there’s anything rebellious or political about the act of buying. This empties the word “political” of any meaning and poisons the political space for all of us.

Ridiculous Consumers

People are so ridiculous. Buying “experiences” is more, not less, consumerist than buying toys and candy. 

If you want to avoid consumerism, a good place to start is not to buy. Going to Nordstrom’s to escape from consumerism, though, is painfully dumb. Go to the library, to the park, to the playground. Stay at home and play Scrabble. But paying for manicures at a mall is not any less consumerist than paying for ice-cream at that same mall.

Cool capitalism, folks. Pay more to feel vaguely rebellious and fashionably quirky. 

Christmas Spirit

People on the local parenting message board are posting irate tirades about a grandma who asked for help around Christmas, was given gifts by charitable folks, and is now selling the gifts on FB for $10 and $15. To me it’s clear that the woman must be in real need if she’s bothering with FB sales to get such a small amount. But everybody is piling on her, calling her horrible names, and acting deeply wounded. 

I’ve seen such mean-spiritedness come out around Christmas that I’m stunned. A man with 12 kids asked for help. “Moocher! Scammer! The best gift for him is a vasectomy! The kids must all have different mommies, and they are probably all loose women!” go charitable neighbors. Why can’t folks just scroll down and move on if they don’t want to help is a mystery. 

Teary stories abound of how people donated gifts only to discover that the recipients returned them for cash. Because, apparently, it’s beyond the pale for the indigent to need cash. “They will spend it on drugs and alcohol!” Because on this FB page we all compensate by reading Proust while listening to Shostakovich and can’t imagine why anybody wouldn’t just do that instead of doing unhealthy things. 

If even on Christmas people can’t keep the inner jerkwad in check and remember that a charitable donation is not a ticket to police the lives of those who asks for help, then that’s not good at all.