Tag Archive for 'Christmas'

In defense of the oft-misunderstood scrooge

This is Jim’s traditional Christmas column.

Some say I’m a scrooge. They might be right.

Here are three exhibits (some say excuses) in my defense of this indictment:

1. The early part of my career was spent in retail. Retailers know what that does to your holiday spirit. There’s a syndrome for everything else; why not one for retail survivors? Let’s call it PTHSS: Post-Traumatic Holiday Shock Syndrome.

2.  Since I don’t wait until the holidays to give someone a gift, I just don’t get all worked up about holiday giving. Not that the ladies mind getting stuff all year (let’s not lose our heads!).  It’s just that they want me to be giddy about giving at Christmas-time. Giddy? Bah! Humbug!

3. As an avowed and devout contrarian it would be antithetical for me to feel obligated to do what everyone else is doing. And if there is one thing that has become part and parcel of the holiday season, it is obligation. For example:

a) If someone gives my significant other and me a last-minute Christmas gift, “Other” feels obligated to reciprocate. I don’t. I’ll do something nice for them in March.

b) After the Christmas cards have been sent, if an incoming card is received from someone not on your list, do you rush to get a card out to them? Not me. Maybe next year. In “The World, According To Blasingame,” giving should be voluntary, not obligatory. In fact, to a scrooge, not reciprocating is endearing.

It’s not that I don’t like the holidays. As a Christian, this is an important time in my faith life. As a capitalist, the importance of holiday spending to our economy is not lost on me. But I just don’t care for what we self-absorbed humans hath wrought on the holiday season. And if that makes me a scrooge, guilty as charged.

So on behalf my misunderstood brethren (this isn’t politically incorrect – apparently, there are no female scrooges), let me clear up a few things:

1. Scrooges can be lovable, huggable, and yes, even cute.

2. It’s a myth that all scrooges are skinflints; some are actually quite generous. But their generosity isn’t obsessive, isn’t tied to a calendar, and doesn’t come with giggles.

3.  Scrooges can be quite caring and compassionate, without saying, “Bless their hearts” over and over.

In order to influence an acquittal, I offer two challenges into evidence; one for me and one for us:

I challenge myself to be more receptive to, and tolerant of, the silly parts of the holiday season, and those who perpetuate the silliness. But please, be patient; the mill of a scrooge grinds slowly.

I challenge us to be more generous, loving, thankful, and spiritual all year long – not just during the holidays. Imagine what would happen if we all practiced peace on earth, goodwill toward everyone, every day. It might sound something like this:

“Let’s help those people right now. Yes! In the middle of July!”

Write this on a rock … Peace to you and yours. Shalom.  Salaam. Que la paz este con ustedes.

Hug a Scrooge today - they need love, too

This is Jim’s traditional Christmas message.

Some say I’m a scrooge – they might be right. But here are three exhibits in my defense:

1. The early part of my career was spent in retail, which is tough on the holiday spirit. There’s a syndrome for everything else; why not one for retail survivors? Let’s call it PTHSS: Post-Traumatic Holiday Shock Syndrome.

2.  Since I don’t wait until the holidays to give someone a gift, I just don’t get all worked up about holiday giving.

Not that the ladies mind getting stuff all year (let’s not lose our heads!) — it’s just that they want me to be giddy about giving at Christmastime. Giddy? Bah! Humbug!

3. As an avowed and devout contrarian it would be antithetical for me to feel obligated to do what everyone else is doing. And if there is one thing that has become part and parcel of the holiday season, it’s obligation. For example:

a) If someone gives my significant other and me a last-minute gift before Christmas, “Other” feels obligated to reciprocate. I don’t. I’ll do something nice for them in March.

b) After the Christmas cards have been sent, if an incoming card is received from someone not on your list, do you rush to get a card out to them? Not me. Maybe next year.

In The World According To Blasingame, giving should be voluntary, not obligatory.  In fact to a scrooge, not reciprocating is actually endearing.

It’s not that I don’t like the holidays. As a Christian, this is an important time in my faith life. As a capitalist, the importance of holiday spending to our economy is not lost on me. But I just don’t care for what we self-absorbed humans hath wrought on the holiday season; and if that makes me a scrooge, guilty as charged.

On behalf of my misunderstood scrooge brethren and sistren (I met a female scrooge once), let me clear up a few things.

1. Scrooges are lovable, huggable and, yes, even cute.

2.  It’s a myth that all scrooges are skinflints. Some are actually quite generous, but their generosity isn’t obsessive and doesn’t come with giggles.

3.  Scrooges can be quite caring and compassionate without saying, “Bless their hearts,” over and over.  As proof — and to influence my acquittal — I offer two challenges into evidence; one for me and one for us:

I challenge myself to be more receptive to, and tolerant of, the silly parts of the holiday season and those who perpetuate the silliness. But, please, be patient; the mill of a scrooge grinds slowly.

I challenge us to be more generous, loving, thankful and spiritual all year long, not just during the holidays.

Imagine what would happen if we all practiced peace on earth, goodwill toward everyone, every day. It might sound something like this: “Let’s help those people right now, in the middle of July!”

Write this on a rock …

Peace to you and yours. Shalom.  Salaam. Que la paz este con ustedes.

Jim Blasingame is author of the award-winning book, The Age of the Customer: Prepare for the Moment of Relevance.

Merry Christmas!

Hug a scrooge today; they need love, too

Some say I’m a scrooge - they might be right. But here are three exhibits in my defense:

1. The early part of my career was spent in retail, which is tough on the holiday spirit. There’s a syndrome for everything else; why not one for retail survivors? Let’s call it PTHSS: Post-Traumatic Holiday Shock Syndrome.

2.  Since I don’t wait until the holidays to give someone a gift, I just don’t get all worked up about holiday giving.

Not that the ladies mind getting stuff all year (let’s not lose our heads!) - it’s just that they want me to be giddy about giving at Christmastime. Giddy? Bah! Humbug!

Photo via ProZD on Tumblr

Photo via ProZD on Tumblr

3. As an avowed and devout contrarian it would be antithetical for me to feel obligated to do what everyone else is doing. And if there is one thing that has become part and parcel of the holiday season, it’s obligation. For example:

a) If someone gives my significant other and me a last-minute gift before Christmas, “Other” feels obligated to reciprocate. I don’t. I’ll do something nice for them in March.

b) After the Christmas cards have been sent, if an incoming card is received from someone not on your list, do you rush to get a card out to them? Not me. Maybe next year.

In The World According To Blasingame, giving should be voluntary, not obligatory.  In fact to a scrooge, not reciprocating is actually endearing.

It’s not that I don’t like the holidays. As a Christian, this is an important time in my faith life. As a capitalist, the importance of holiday spending to our economy is not lost on me. But I just don’t care for what we self-absorbed humans hath wrought on the holiday season; and if that makes me a scrooge, guilty as charged.

On behalf of my misunderstood scrooge brethren and sistren (I met a female scrooge once), let me clear up a few things.

1. Scrooges are lovable, huggable and, yes, even cute.

2.  It’s a myth that all scrooges are skinflints. Some are actually quite generous, but their generosity isn’t obsessive and doesn’t come with giggles.

3.  Scrooges can be quite caring and compassionate without saying, “Bless their hearts,” over and over.

As proof - and to influence my acquittal - I offer two challenges into evidence; one for me and one for us:

  1. I challenge myself to be more receptive to, and tolerant of, the silly parts of the holiday season and those who perpetuate the silliness. But, please, be patient; the mill of a scrooge grinds slowly.
  2. I challenge us to be more generous, loving, thankful and spiritual all year long, not just during the holidays.

Imagine what would happen if we all practiced peace on earth, goodwill toward everyone, every day. It might sound something like this: “Let’s help those people right now, in the middle of July!”

Write this on a rock … Peace to you and yours. Shalom.  Salaam. Que la paz este con ustedes.

In defense of scrooges everywhere

Some say I’m a scrooge; they might be right. But here are three exhibits in my defense:

1. The early part of my career was spent in retail, which is tough on the holiday spirit. There’s a syndrome for everything else; why not one for retail survivors? Let’s call it PTHSS: Post-Traumatic Holiday Shock Syndrome.

2. Since I don’t wait until the holidays to give someone a gift, I just don’t get all worked up about holiday giving. Not that the ladies mind getting stuff all year (let’s not lose our heads!) — it’s just that they want me to be giddy about giving at Christmas-time. Giddy? Bah! Humbug!

3. As an avowed contrarian, it would be antithetical for me to feel obligated to do what everyone else is doing. And one thing that is part and parcel of the holiday season is obligation. For example:

a) If someone gives my significant other and me a last-minute gift before Christmas, “Other” feels obligated to reciprocate. I don’t. I’ll do something nice for them in March.

b) After the holiday cards have been sent, if a card comes in from someone not on your list do you rush to reciprocate? Not me – maybe next year. In fact, to a scrooge, not reciprocating is endearing.

It’s not that I don’t like the holidays. As a Christian, this is an important time in my faith life. As a capitalist, the importance of holiday spending to the economy is not lost on me. But I just don’t care for what we self-absorbed humans hath wrought on the holiday season; and if that makes me a scrooge, guilty as charged.

On behalf of my misunderstood brethren and sisteren (I heard of a female scrooge once), let me clear up a few things.

1. Scrooges can be lovable – even cute.

2. Some are actually generous, but without the giddiness.

3. Scrooges can be compassionate without saying, “Bless their hearts,” over and over.

To influence my acquittal, I offer two challenges into evidence; one for me and one for us:

1. I challenge myself to be more receptive to, and tolerant of the silly parts of the holiday season. But please, be patient; the mill of a scrooge grinds slowly.

2. I challenge us to be more generous, loving, thankful and spiritual all year long, not just during the holidays.

Imagine what would happen if we all practiced peace on earth and goodwill toward everyone, every day. It might sound something like this: “Let’s help those people right now, in the middle of July!”

Peace to you and yours. Shalom. Salaam. Que la paz este con ustedes.

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He ain’t wrong, he’s just different

What if I could actually find room in the universe to allow others to be who they are, believe what they believe and do what they do, without being judgmental and dismissive? You know – tolerant.

One would think that a person who could contemplate such a question could actually accomplish the answer, wouldn’t one? Alas, as I’ve often lamented, the problem with humanity is the humans.

Being terribly flawed is one of the two immutable truths we humans know about ourselves. The other is that we can learn and, therefore, change. And therein lay the two horns of perhaps the most fundamental human dilemma: how to pursue our own beliefs and desires with the passion that is uniquely human, while learning how to simultaneously grant the same opportunity to others.

Lyrics from two songs come to mind which capture the essence of these horns. Horn 1: Mac Davis sang, “Oh, Lord, it’s hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way.” Horn 2: Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings sang, “He ain’t wrong, he’s just different …”

Here’s an exercise to consider: What if, while celebrating the obvious truth of Davis’ lyric, I always remembered to recite – out loud – the Nelson/Jennings’ lyric.

This week, at least for a half hour, I conducted this exercise. On Christmas day, while broadcasting my live small business radio program, I invited one of my Jewish friends, Andrew Sherman, to join me. We had a great time observing Hanukkah, celebrating Christmas, and in the process, advanced the notion that I’ve been proposing here.

Andrew and I celebrated what we have in common and the power of tolerance, plus how to maintain balance in our lives. We offer this record of our time together to you here. Hope you enjoy it. And of course, we look forward to your comments.




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