Serving Bel Air, Benedict Canyon, Beverly Hills. Brentwood, Laurel Canyon, Los Feliz, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Melrose, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Topanga, Canyon, Westwood & Hollywood Hills.

Name

E-mail

facebook Canyon News twitter Canyon News

Canyon News

Bel Air News

Beverly Hills News

Brentwood News

Hollywood Hills News

Laurel Canyon News

Los Angeles News

Los Feliz News

Malibu News

Melrose News

Pacific Palisades News

Santa Monica News

Sherman Oaks News

Studio City News

Topanga Canyon News

West Hollywood News

Westwood News

Woodland Hills

Celebrity News

State News

National News

World Headlines

Deaf News

Entertainment

Film

Television

Music

On the Industry

Star Gazing

St. John's Confidential File

Theatrical Musings

Life & Style

Event Listings

Tech Talk

Looking Good For Lots Less

Spirit & Creativity

Miller Time

Books

View from the Hill

NY WEST

Chrystal's Recipe Corner

Career and Life Coaching

Gardening With Tony

Life According To Lenson

Real Estate Realities

Food

Sports

Marathon Running

Keeping It Bruin: A Look Into UCLA Athletics

Baseball

Basketball

Football

Hockey

Pets

Vi's Corner

Pet Tips

Point of View

John Armor

Message to America

Critic At Large... Ruta Lee

Labor Week

Ramblings

10 Degrees Cooler

McConnors corner

Edge of the west

The Physics Wizard

Auto

Kyle's Kars

Travel

Susan Michelle's Compass

Advice

Ask Deanna

Dear Lily

Ask Oona

Features

Dancing with Earthquakes

Archives

Sports Schedules

Traveling Beyond the Canyon

Edge of the West

Law Man

Ask Us

Nathan Tabor

The Angry Economist

Truth Probe

As I See It

Columnists

Truth Conquers

The Live Wire

Notes from Exile

Letters to the Editor

Dog Training by Anthony

Canyon Mews

Speak!

Sponsors

America's Most Wanted Dogs

World Recipes

Vegetarian Lifestyle

Humor

News Briefs

Local News

Books

News

Canyon Fodder

Bad Movie Night

Critical Projection

Ed's on the Town

Fitness Quests

Flashback Films

Stories of the Strange

Gourmet Grandma

He Said/She Said

Home Matters with Yvonne

L.A. Etch-a-Sketch

L.A. Ruminations

McConnor's Corner

Mommy Minute

Musically Speaking

My Back Pages

Publisher's Pages

ResourceINK

Scene and Heard in L.A.

Silly...But Wise!

Sunset Diaries

Table Options

The Paws Cause

TV Stuff

Cartoon of the Week



L.A. Ruminations

Cashmere, Credit Cards And Chestnuts
Posted by Michael Coscia on Nov 1, 2003 - 4:46:00 PM

JennaSkarzenski_purses.jpg
Jenna Skarzenski / Canyon News
LOS ANGELES — November marks the start of the holiday season and with it comes bah humbug or fa la la la la.

This year I am trying very hard to embrace the joy of the season, which has become extremely fragile over the past few years. We need to get back to the true meaning of the holidays: love. Gifts should be given to people you really care about, not people you want to impress (though we are all guilty of that).

Unfortunately the media seduces us with images of sparkling diamonds, expensive cashmere sweaters, the latest high-tech gizmos, and gadgets galore. Retail sales, television commercials, spam e-mails, billboards, annoying Internet pop-up ads, and everything else assault us with all this stuff. Stuff manufactured to lure us into thinking we could not live another moment without one of these precious items.

We embrace the manipulations with all the gusto we can muster. Gotta have it now!

It never fails that the evening news every year reports the tale of Petite Soccer Mom Claudine attacking Car Pool Mom Pauline and wrestling for that last toy on the shelf. Images of hysterical moms, fistfuls of hair extensions, and broken straps on fake Gucci bags are comical but knowing it does happen makes it quite sad. How materialistic are we? What kind of example are we setting for our children?

Remember the Pet Rock? How about Rubik's Cube? And don't forget Cabbage Patch dolls, Beanie Babies, and, my favorite, the Furby. They created hysteria among consumers and for what? So they could end up in a drawer where they remain forever, never to be fondled again.

JennaSkarzenski_fashionbbd.jpg
Jenna Skarzenski / Canyon News
"This can be yours for 12 monthly payments of $19.95!" How can you resist that? You just won't be hip or happening if you're not first in your neighborhood to lay claim to owning one of these unique treasures. But wake up! They're not unique at all. There are millions manufactured. Once sales falter they will disappear and never be seen again until VH-1 features them on one of their nostalgia shows.

A month after you charge your credit cards to their limit ask people if they remember who gave what to whom. It's like asking who won Best Actress or Best Picture at last year's Oscars. No one seems to remember.

But rest assured that Visa, MasterCard, and American Express love you, they really love you. Well, maybe not you, but certainly all those finance charges they heap onto your monthly statements. They certainly do add up. Ouch! That beautiful one-of-a-kind cashmere sweater you bought on sale may end up costing you twice as much by the time you pay off your credit card debt.

We're placing value on what holidays have become rather than what they should be. How sad that an expensive cashmere sweater gift means you love someone more than giving a gift of holiday cookies you baked yourself.

One of the best presents I ever received was from my little niece. She was seven years old when she bought me a level, yes a level, at her grammar school store. She was so proud giving it to me that I was brought to tears. It was given out of love, rather than obligation and price tag concern. I treasure that level.

Does incurring debt sound all that enticing this year? If it does then by all means go and max those credit cards. If not, then why not find a simpler, more meaningful way to acknowledge your loved ones?

How about foregoing gifts altogether and everyone doing some volunteer work? I know Project Angel Food could use help preparing food and delivering it to men, women, and children disabled by HIV/AIDS. Please give them a call at 323-845-1816. The joy of helping others will last a lifetime.

This Thanksgiving as you savor the scent of turkey, pumpkin, and chestnuts roasting on an open fire promise yourself you'll step into the true meaning of the holidays. Forget about that cashmere sweater (one gravy spill and it's stained forever). Forget about maxing out that credit card(s) (bankruptcy isn't pretty).

Encourage everyone to join together and make it a fa la la la la holiday season full of love, not consumer goods. That's what I'm doing.

And to get in the holiday spirit I've got a few holiday decorations to hang on the wall. Gonna use my level to make sure I hang them evenly.

It really is the thought that matters.



 

Cliffside Malibu

-------------------------

-------------------------

 

MANHATTAN BEACH

Serving Bel Air, Benedict Canyon, Beverly Hills. Brentwood, Laurel Canyon, Los Feliz, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Melrose, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Topanga, Canyon, Westwood & Hollywood Hills.