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Go Fever: Modern day shopping?

The Christmas holiday shopping season has long since begun to resemble NASA in its heyday before the Apollo disaster in 1967, Challenger disaster in 1986 and Columbia disaster in 2003.

“Go Fever” was the term coined for the all-out approach the space agency took in the early days to fulfill President John F. Kennedy’s pledge made in a 1962 speech to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

No disrespect intended, if I may take a little literary license to compare that speech to the current shopping frenzy, the iconic part of that speech would read something like this:

“We choose to shop.  We choose to go and shop this month and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”

One of the favorite games I played during the Christmas season involved searching for an ideal parking spot, if one existed, at crowded malls.

My immediate mission accomplished, I would enter and perform my appointed task, and upon leaving the building I automatically became the Pied Piper without his flute.

Arriving shoppers, much like lemmings searching for a cliff, would follow me through the labyrinth of parked cars ready to pounce once I pulled out of my parking space.

On more than one occasion, I had to return to my car before my ultimate task was completed, resulting in more than a few disgruntled souls as I returned to the mall.

On well, gas was cheaper then, anyway.

That being said, it can be fun to watch everyone dash about during the holidays, particularly with the added drama resulting from iPods and cell phone apps, as savvy shoppers go online and compare prices.

Nothing stops the “Black Friday” and more recently the “Brown Thursday” consumer, whose Thanksgiving Day meal of turkey and dressing has barely settled before they make a mad dash to their favorite holiday haunts.

Unfortunately, or fortunately as the case may be, my Christmas has come down to a few decorations in my house, about 30 Christmas cards mailed to friends and family, and a couple of visits here and there.

Just call it a down-sized Christmas, and you get the idea. 

Irregardless of my childhood memories of the holiday season, I now prefer it that way.