In My Mind's Zen Garden
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The Christmas Crunch, and Maybe Postponing Christmas Until January

IF THERE’S ONE THINK I’VE LEARNED IN LIFE, it’s the need to put money away for a “rainy day”.

But, how much should you put away? From my experience the ideal amount should be about 30% of your net income. And even THAT could be an unrealistic amount for people struggling during an economic recession.

Yes, even though the financial experts say we were pulling out of a recession, I feel like we are heading toward another recession.

The Cost of Living

One thing that REALLY stuck in my mine was the price of gas a few years ago this month. I remember gasoline being at $1.55 a gallon!

Even though gas prices are falling, I think they haven’t fallen far enough, and I am suspicious that the “powers that be” have simply lower the prices (from around $5.00 a gallon in the Summer) to around $3.65 per gallon this Winter!

Well, I suppose we have to get used to gasoline being expensive from here on out, but the fact is, when the price of gasoline goes up… EVERYTHING goes up!

Well all know this by studying the price of stuff in the past!

But people are struggling out there. The middle class is suffering!

I still see families losing their homes. I see people getting laid-off and others receiving a pay-cut.

It’s rough out there, people! So, why isn’t enough of us complaining about it?

Ah…. we have the Occupy Wall Street movement!!!

Bless their souls for knowing what’s going on and at least TRYING to voice their concerns, while the naysayers and the stupid people (who seem to be living in a cloud) don’t really know what’s going down.

Okay, enough of that, but if you don’t think that we are struggling and the distance between the struggling poor and middle class people and the uber rich is growing farther and farther apart, then you have your head stuck in the sand, or you are in denial!

Christmas Crunches

But still, the logical response to all the economic turmoil around us, is to be a survivor and find ways to deal with the situation. Which comes to the topic of Christmas shopping…. what the fack? The ridiculously expensive and costly stuff out there to buy… who in their right mind is paying “full-retail” for stuff at the malls? Not I, Sir Robin Hood.

The thought had occurred to me, looking back at a former neighbor’s Christmas traditions. Instead of buying stuff before and during the Christmas rush, my neighbor would simply wait until January when all the New Year’s sales would take place, and buy all the family’s Christmas at that time. And they would celebrate Christmas in January.

Of course, celebrating Christmas in January seems illogical and wrong… BUT, very practical. It actually makes a whole lot of sense!

Anyway, my family hasn’t even started with the actual Christmas shopping yet, and we are in no hurry to start. With the outrageous price tags out there, maybe I’ll wait and have Christmas in January. We’ll see…

If anything we’ll celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus, the true spirit of Christmas (and not the malls, and the material stuff). And we’ll wait for the after-Christmas deals and the New Year’s sales.

Maybe we can all do the same and start a new trend!



About the author:
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Carlos Rull is a musician living in the San Diego area. His interests include Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Gardening. He plays drums, piano, and composes New Age & Ambient music, and his albums are available on iTunes and Amazon.com.

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