This is a season known for making people feel jolly and merry. The festivities, pumped up and twisted as they sometimes can be, can also get folks agitated enough to want to sound off on how they really feel about holiday shopping, annoying holiday ads—and even about volunteers and God.
Here, seven of the season’s most spirited rants:
RANTER: Leo Babauta of zenhabits
RANT TOPIC: Christmas shopping—specifically how it’s a waste of time, money, and resources
Most people spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on gifts and wrapping. Not to mention all the money spent on gas, driving to different shopping places, and the money spent on fattening food at mall food courts. This goes on credit cards (and around our waistlines), and we then must pay for this — with high interest — during the year. Even if you don’t get into debt, you’re spending money earned from long hours of hard work — is this really how you want to spend your life, paying for needless stuff so corporations can get rich?
RANTER: Matt, a dad guest blogging at ING Direct
RANT TOPIC: How expensive the holidays are, and how marketers target kids
When you have a kid, I think a blast email goes out to every toy company in America that says “send your catalogs to this address in a never-ending barrage of consumerism.” It’s pretty ceaseless year-round, but during the holidays, the number of and consistency with which catalogs hit our door climbs to epic proportions. Whole forests are in my recycling bin right now.
RANTER: Hartford Courant humorist Jim Shea
RANT TOPIC: Online shopping—because it’s so easy to buy via the Internet, he feels like he’s missing out on a holiday tradition
I mean, it just doesn’t seem like Christmas unless…
>> You get stuck in holiday traffic, particularly one of those gridlock situations around the mall that are so severe, they later find the desiccated bodies of timid drivers at problem intersections.
RANTER: A View from the Cop’s Steve Rose
RANT TOPIC: How much he—and all men—hate holiday shopping
Hey, it’s Christmastime. Let’s forget our differences and take to heart the spirit this time of year is meant for us to feel. And while you’re at it — get the heck outta my parking spot, you &$(%#!!!!)
That’s right, kids, we’re in holiday mode and it’s everyone for themselves. And don’t let those little old ladies fool you! They’re animals.
RANTER: Consumerist readers
RANT TOPIC: The worst holiday ads of 2010
I hate all of the awful Hyundai Sonata commercials with the hipster singing duo, especially the Up On the Rooftop version. Wishy-washy stuttering vocals; “look we’re having fun acting zany and playing instruments and stuff”; songs that gets stuck in your head because they are cloying and annoying. So I guess if you’re a twentysomething hipster from Seattle or Portland (I wager) that is looking to buy a new car, Hyundai wants you to buy this one.
RANTER: SmartSpending’s Donna Freedman
RANT TOPIC: Volunteering around the holidays—specifically people who volunteer only at this time of year to get recognition
Don’t get me wrong: I love it when people do nice things. I just wish it weren’t so holiday-specific. Pardon my grinchiness, but I think some of these once-a-year volunteers aren’t doing it for the homeless, the seniors or the kids. They’re doing it to make themselves feel good.
RANTER: Comedian Ricky Gervais, writing for the WSJ
RANT TOPIC: Why people are so upset with him—especially around this time of year—because he’s an atheist
From what I can gather, pretty much the worst type of person you can be is an atheist. The first four commandments hammer this point home. There is a god, I’m him, no one else is, you’re not as good and don’t forget it. (Don’t murder anyone, doesn’t get a mention till number 6.)
When confronted with anyone who holds my lack of religious faith in such contempt, I say, “It’s the way God made me.”