As today’s cartoons attempt to urge, it’s really NOT all about the shopping.
Having said that, it’s difficult to completely avoid the issue this time of year.
Even if you are trying to just get in for your festive package of macaroni and cheese, you are apt to get caught up in the hub-bub, bub.
So the topic is likely to get raised, and you might as well know: stuff is more expensive than in previous years.
It’s true, regardless of what the feds would have you believe.
There is inflation out there.
As the Associated Press reported this season, even the traditions are more expensive.
“The price of partridges, pear trees and turtle doves has spiked, pushing the cost of every item mentioned in the carol ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ above $100,000 for the first time.
“The 364 items repeated across all the song’s verses would cost $101,119, an increase of 4.4 percent over last year, according to the annual Christmas Price Index compiled by PNC Wealth Management.
“The broader government Consumer Price Index increased by 3.9 percent over the same period.”
Most of us have become convinced that the feds base their estimates of actual inflation on the market price of hummingbird tongues, instead of on that mac-and-cheese. That’s why you never see the price hike for them.
Still, the AP noted: “Six items didn’t go up in cost this year: French hens, calling birds, gold rings, maids-a-milking, ladies dancing and lords-a-leaping.”
If you can make a holiday out of those six items, knock yourself out.
Reality crept in at some levels: “But last-minute shoppers who turn to the Internet may be in for some surprises. The core list that costs about $24,000 in stores will come to $39,860 online — a whopping 16.1 percent increase over Internet prices last year.”
Most of us, again considering the basics of life, would probably feel that 16 percent is a lot closer to what we have experienced this year.
There is an option, of course.
We could decide that Christmas is more about the miraculous nature of God made flesh, of the once-in-eternity manifestation of Christ, of the introduction of His presence in our world and of the Atonement that heals our division from God.
The great good news? That is still free.
No inflation to figure.
— Chuck Smith