Laura Brunzlick Column
December 20, 2002
Hope you had a happy and modest Christmas spending spree.
If I’m treated to another commercial featuring a person buying their loved one a new Lexus, I just may quit participating in the end-of-year shopping blitz.
A new Lexus is certainly within the means of the average American consumer. If it isn’t quite enough, a new $80 million submarine featured in the Robb Report luxury magazine will satisfy any person’s Christmas wishes.
Kind of makes me want to barricade myself in a small cabin in the remote wilderness sans television and stores for the entire post-Thanksgiving period.
With family at hand, the only gifts we would exchange would be the gift of each other’s company.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy giving and receiving gifts during the holidays. What gets me is the pretentious advertising in newspapers and on television for diamond pendants that set the buyer back a mere $800.
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The ads imply that as a woman, you just aren’t appreciated unless you sport a fancy bauble on your hand or around your neck.
And as a man, you just aren’t a good specimen if you can’t “wow” your woman with an expensive diamond.
These ads and newspaper tidbits about a gift registry for stocking stuffers such as a Ferrari Testarossa seem to get worse every year.
I’m happy if I get candy, some nail polish and a CD in my stocking.
Am I a lone voice or does anyone else find this ilk of holiday advertising distasteful?
Do couples really exchange new luxury SUVs for the holidays?
In the real world, many of us are happy to be able to replace the old socks in our sock drawer and to have a new pair of pajamas for cold winter nights.
I am not alone.
A report released earlier this month by the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada indicates middle-income workers in the Silver State suffered the third sharpest drop in wages in the nation over the last decade.
Susan Chandler, a University of Nevada, Reno professor who authored the report, “Working Hard, Living Poor Part II,” said in the report that since 1978, the poorest families annual income decreased by $800 and middle-income families saw their incomes decrease by $1,200.
The report states that the rich became much richer D the average annual income for the richest fifth of families in Nevada increased by $26,010.
No wonder Wal-Mart had unprecedented sales the day after Thanksgiving.
Yes, I will join the hordes this weekend for some last-minute shopping, but it won’t be in a Lexus dealership.
Maybe next year I’ll actually avoid the advertising and get away with my family to spend quiet time with them out in the boondocks.
Easier said than done, however.
It’s nice to dream about though.