Friday, November 26, 2010


This is the day I stay home and thank the creators of catalogs and online ordering. My list is very trim and we stick to the budget of fixed-income senior citizens. Today is when Mammon is worshipped, when Capitalism and Consumerism become religions. Today is when I sit back and realize just how easily things are bought and sold in our society, including human beings. There is no power on earth, save a need for a trip to the ER, that would get me out in that mob.

We have skipped directly from Halloween to slide by Thanksgiving and hit home with Christmas and let the buying and mayhem begin.

A Holiday, that began with an ancient observance of the Winter Solstice, was co-opted by the early Christian church as a "holy day" (if Jesus existed, he was born in the Spring it seems) and evolved into an international phenomenon, is a playground for the American Capitalist.

I admit to loving the lights, the message of love and hope, the beautiful music and the pretty presents. I can even suspend my agnostic scepticism for one night, Christmas Eve, and pretend to believe in angelic messengers and three kings and all that jazz. It hurts no one and is a good reason for good food and family gatherings. My husband and I will be taking our little pooch and heading for the mountains of WV to spend our holiday appreciating the natural beauty of Winter. Hey, a wood-burning fireplace and a hot tub are not bad ways to spend the holiday.

But, as I have evolved past the materialism of youth and realized that there can be such a thing as too much "stuff," I have to pause and reflect on how I became a factory and my two oldest children became commodities. Let there be a demand for ANYTHING in this society and someone will market it and find a way to profit from it. It took me six decades of living to get to the point where I questioned the American Dream and the "ideals" behind it.

Poor women in India, who could benefit from a little bit of true altruism, are now being marketed as "rent-a-womb" surrogates to provide product for the growing "give me a child lest I die" consumers. That makes me wonder if any Indian girl, old enough to gestate, would be pulled into this egregious "business." Young, middle and upper-class (financially) WASP high school and college student who become pregnant are being offered "scholarships" by high-end brokers like Gladney and all they have to do is give their infant to genetic strangers. Anyone who says that this is not an industry and that no one is making money is wearing blinders and ear plugs.

I have horrible visions of stores and catalogs offering newborns as Christmas gifts on Black Friday. Picture a Swiss Colony catalog with babies offered as part of a deluxe assortment. Maybe that's reaching a bit, but the reality is no less harsh and hateful. WE WILL SELL AND BUY ANYTHING, INCLUDING CHILDREN.

Now, like I said, I have no investment in keeping a religious idea as "the reason for the season." But the gathering of family and loved ones, the enjoyment of celebration...hey, it's all good. It's the money thing that is the spoiler. Early Christmases such as the ones in Victorian England, did not call for gifts to everyone within one's circle of family and friends. The gifts and goodies were for the children. The adults partied. Hmmm, sounds cool to me. And FAMILY should be the reason for the season...close loved ones and messages of love and give the kids some toys and let's party! And keep that precious family intact. Each individual is vital and non-transferable.

They don't celebrate Christmas, for the most part, in India. Poverty precludes the kind of Santa-fest we put on. But they should be able to live without having to rent their bodies for the needs of strangers. They should be able to feed their children without having to give birth for the self-entitled.

It would be a pity to see Black Friday go world-wide. Jingle them bells.

1 comment:

carol said...

Robin, as you say, the Christmas season heightens consumerism to a frenzied level, and unfortunately it includes our sons and daughters, American citizens.

Apparently, Georgia Tann had quite an annual tradition of Christmas offerings beginning in 1929 and going on through the 1940s "every day from the beginning of November until January 1. The were captioned:
"Could YOU Use a Christmas Baby?"
"Which [of three infant boys] Will You Have for Christmas?"
"Living Dolls [three baby girls] for YOU."
"Are You in the Market for a 14-Month-Old Boy?"
"Put Your Orders in Early."
"Dan, Jimmy, Ray ... Want One of Them?"
(p114 from "The Baby Thief")

Today our children are offered at discounted prices per this link at AAAFC ( They are sold at different prices depending on the color of their skin (ie: http://www.afth .org/looking_to_adopt/index.html)

What progress have we made? What progress has the industry made? Consumerism wrapped in a differently decorated box. Amazing what a backward society we have been and remain.

I know I'm preaching to the choir, but these human rights violations need to be aired repeatedly until the infant adoption industry is stopped.

Thanks as always for your blog. Each and every angle that you bring to the discussion of this topic is valuable.