Sunday, December 28, 2008

“Best Buy” Called Me On Christmas Morning

Christmas at our house is a pretty special time. My wife is the ultimate traditionalist, and she keeps us on track to celebrate and remember in several special ways. I sometimes wish we could leave it at that, as I often feel that the abundance of gifts that we exchange on Christmas morning borders on embarrassing. But I’m reminded of Matthew 7:11, which says, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Giving gifts to my children is my desire and duty as a father, and I believe that they have caught the desire to give to others rather than receive. It’s easy to be generous to them when I see how much they want to give to others.

Our Christmas morning always starts with the family gathered to read a passage of the birth of Jesus, lit by the flickering flame from our Advent wreath (the candles on it, not the wreath!). The kids never mention gifts before this occurs – they truly celebrate the day as the birth of our Savior. After reading and praying, we open the stockings one at a time, with everyone in the family watching the others and with no sense of hurry. After the stockings, we start in on the gifts under the tree. Again, we open every gift one at a time, and often rotate the person who selects the gift to be opened. No one ever picks their own gift to open. It makes me proud to watch.

I wasn’t surprised when the phone rang late in the morning, because our extended families tend to call and wish each other a merry Christmas throughout the day. But imagine my amazement when I watched my daughter Molly answer the phone and then listen to it without speaking for a full minute. When she finally hung up, without speaking a word after the initial greeting, I asked her who it was. She turned to me and said, “It was a pre-recorded message from Best Buy calling to remind you that you have a ten-dollar coupon that you must redeem before January 24.”

Can you insert one of those record-scratching noises here?

Okay, it’s bad enough that I’m constantly inundated with advertisements and flyers from the electronics stores. And I shake my head when they try to sell me a one-year warranty on nearly every item that I buy from them. I guess I shouldn’t assume that quality is still an expectation. But it goes beyond the pale that they must call me on the morning of Christmas day with a pre-recorded message about a ten-dollar coupon. I could say a lot more about rampant commercialism here, but I’m not sure it’s really necessary. We all recognize it, don’t we?

So, as I sit here three days before the New Year, and as I get ready to finalize and perhaps reveal my resolutions to you, I’m going to start by announcing the first one. With one exception, I resolve not to step into a Best Buy store in 2009. And that one exception will be to redeem my coupon – for something that doesn’t cost more than ten-dollars. I know it may sound extreme but I feel that I should make a point, even if it’s only to myself. And I can’t help but think that there may be a positive financial impact to this decision, too…

So if you see me in 2009, you are free to ask if I’ve been to the BB store lately. I’ll let you know if I stayed faithful to my promise.


Noah said...

Aw... I love Best Buy! Can you just drop me off at the door? Just kidding! Great point!

Candice said...

This was a great post, I cannot believe they called on Christmas Day, that is beyond revolting to me. I especially loved the part about how Christmas morning works at your house. We got a glimpse of that with our kids this year too; even though they loved their gifts, they were more excited to see the ones they had bought being opened by the recipients. It was really great as a mom to be able to see that my efforts are not in vain.