I’ve changed blog servers. This post was originally published on 12/20/06
Today I published “An Andy Rooney Christmas” on the Yahoo! News 60 Minutes page. I’m the producer responsible for the 60 Minutes content at Yahoo. It’s interesting to watch a sampling of Rooney’s commentaries from 1978 until now. Somethings have changed quite a bit (especially Rooney’s hair color). Other things remain the same. For example: the Christmas cards segment – all those cards look exactly like ones of today, which is comforting in a way; the toy’s segment – it’s great that there are some simple, basic toys that kids will always enjoy – the pogo stick, the slinky, stilts, a red wagon, a stuffed bear, a simple doll.

A broader observation from watching the clips: we’ve gone from mechanical gizmos to battery-powered digital gadgets and they all still seem mostly unnecessary and bound for the attic/cellar/garage/landfill.

Yahoo! this year didn’t get gifts for its employees. Instead, it gave each of us a $100 coupon to donate to a charity of our choice. How great it would be if all of us stopped buying things to wrap – things most of us don’t really want or need anyway – and just gave the money we would have spent (even the amount on the wrapping paper) to any non-profit or charity.

I’m always frustrated this time of year. I can’t help but think of the futility of buying our way into acceptance, love, etc. Why do we spend so much on gifts? Why not spend that time and energy – expended on buying things – on each other, instead? I can’t help but think that that would be time much better spent.

And would the economy really suffer if we spent less money on gifts? Or would it all balance out when non-profits and charities have more to spend toward their goals. I think that would be money far better spent.


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