I used to have a co-worker who began worrying about shopping for Christmas gifts in October. For three months this was her main topic of conversation. All the anxieties of her life were drawn into this little whirlwind.
I tried to avoid her when she was “in heat” but occasionally I would say something just to be polite. One day I foolishly said “Gee, I guess I’m lucky. I wasn’t raised as a Christian and since my divorce I don’t really have anyone to buy presents for.” She took this as a personal insult. Vegetarians and people who don’t have televisions get the same kind of reactions (believe me).
So, though it may be a little uncomfortable, Dare To Be Different!
Adbusters is a group that takes the Corporate Culture battle seriously. (They have excellent news and analysis of the OWS movement.) They remind us that we don’t have to shop like robots programmed by the endless advertising that is dumped upon us.