I’ve been anticipating the Amazon.ca “Boxing week” sale for weeks. After last year’s incredible haul I was expecting more great deals. I even stopped buying new books in case something on my wish list came up for sale.
As it turns out, my bookish anticipation was entirely in vain. This year’s sale is a complete wash! The highest discount to be found is 50%. Imagine! And guess how many books are offered at that level? Thirteen in fiction, eleven in nonfiction. That’s it. To think that last year I got good textbooks, atlases, and the Encyclopaedia Britannica, for 70% off! What happened, Amazon?
I’m also disgusted that the “after”-Christmas sales (at Amazon and elsewhere) started on Christmas Eve. The already smudged line between shopping for others and shopping for oneself seems to have been erased. It looks like the merchants have won the battle for Christmas (not that there was much doubt about it). Personally, I don’t think religious observances belong on a state calendar, but can you imagine the outcry from retailers if anyone tried to abolish Christmas as a national holiday? It would be the end of civilization as we know it! But maybe that would be a good thing.
During the festive meals of these days let us remember the Lord’s words: “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite those who will invite you in return, but invite those whom no one invites and who are not able to invite you” [Lk 14:12-14]. This also means: when you give gifts for Christmas, do not give only to those who will give to you in return, but give to those who receive from no one and who cannot give you anything back.
—Pope Benedict XVI, Christmas homily 2006