Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Christmas is here! It is a holiday when we celebrate mindless consumption of goods in the name of someone who had very different views over shopping.

I did not buy any presents to anyone and informed everyone around me that I don't expect any either, as giving presents is just plain stupid. "ferindly heplfull ppl" surely think that I'm just being selfish, refusing to "give selflessly". Well, that's true, but it's not the point now. The point is that the group of us is better off if no one buys presents. Let me explain with a simple WoW example: a BoE trash-epic item drops to you that you can't use, but a guildy can. The current price of the same item in the AH is 10K. There are 3 possibilities, based on how much value (V) the guildy places on the item. Please note that this value is completely subjective, and no one else can really guess it but him.
  • 10K < V: This case he already bought the item and can only refuse the gift (or sell it himself)
  • 9.5K < V < 10K: this case you lose 9.5K (10K - AH cut) and he gains V, so the group of you gains V-9.5K which is a positive number between 0 and 500G
  • V < 9.5K: this case you lose 9.5K (10K - AH cut) and he gains V, so the group of you gains V-9.5K which is a negative number. If he values the item in the range of 5K, the group of you loses 4.5K G by giving the gift.
The group of you is usually better of not giving presents. And WoW is a simple world where hunters need agility. In real life the needs of people is much more complicated. While we all need warm clothes, the 10 th red sweater from aunt Marlene holds practically no value to us. If we add that most of the presents are useless vanity per se (like expensive chocolate, jewelry, tickets to exclusive but boring opera plays), we get nothing but waste.

Every time you buy something useless, a big-eyed little furry critter dies horribly! Literally, as the mankind has much larger ecological footstep than the planet, so the mindless overproduction destroys the big-eyed little furry critter's habitat. Save your bank account and the cute little things. Buy no presents!

PS: And what about the possibility that my friend values the item above market just lacks the gold? You can give him the gold and he buys it, or if he values something higher, buys that! Gold is by definition valued equally (as it's not something that you subjectively use), so if you give him 10K, he'll buy something useful for himself. Of course if your friendship is not one-sided, he gives you 10K too, making both gifts pointless.

Soic sent this specimen to remind us that no holidays can save us from M&S:


galarad said...


I like your game analysis and economy examples but having this mindset IRL is not going to give you much "advancement" over the crowd. First, your present example is wrong because you assume there is VALUE of the item. When you give present there are at least three components involved:

1. The sum you pay to buy it

2. The sum that the receiving party will have to pay to buy it (including his/her time to look for it). If you buy something that is unique or very limited this alternative value can be very high for the receiver. Also, if you are an expert in the matter and he is not if he decides to buy the item he could get much inferior thing if there are several to choose from.

3. Value that is not measured by money - it is the idea that you love/like someone and want to make him happy. How much does it cost to make someone happy?

In your WoW example you give TRASH as a present. Why would you give trash to someone you value?? I would give another example - there is an item in the game called "Green Lens of ....". This item is not craftable anymore and it is BOE. If I am to give you my Green Lens of Stamina item than the value from the vendor could be 10 Gold, the value from AH 1000 Gold, but the value for you should be much more, because you can't get this item anymore and because I give you something that I value myself.

Finally, not buying at all is not the way to do it because it is the same as not going to vote for any candidate. You vote with your money when you buy something and you help the advancement of those companies that make things you/your firends like. If you want to reduce the waste go buy them digital goods or service or write them a poem - but don't just sit in the corner hating the idea of gifts as a whole.

Anonymous said...

I think you have wrote in one post you have girlfriend. If she agreed you don't have to buy her present. Then my advice is buy her one. Seriously.
And if someone have children in your family. Buy present for them. They surely will not spend much money to buy something useless for you.

Andru said...

Found it!

This article was linked on your blog before. I think it should have greater visibility since it explains another thing, the added value given by the "happines and joy of gift-giving".

Canttouchme said...

You're right, the idea of giving presents is just plain stupid.
But Christmas, and that includes giving gifts, is part of culture. And culture can usually not be compared with "logic".

With easter we hide eggs, only to start looking for them 1 day later. Is that logical?
In my country, once a year everyone dresses up covered in curtains for about 2 weeks. Is that logical?

All those annual holyidays are illogical and don't make any sense. But some people like that about it. After a stressful few months at work/school, there's finally time to do crazy things, like buying presents, hiding eggs or dressing up in curtains

So actually, while being completely illogical, there is some reason behind it. The less logical these holidays are, the more they distract you from the every day life.

This is what makes it fun for a lot of people, and i can understand why

P.S. I don't actually celebrate Christmas myself, but i think this is one of the main reasons other people still do.

Azuriel said...

Err... but isn't the value (V) of "big-eyed little furry critters" zero in your worldview? So why encourage their protection?

I believe the season is hyper-commercialized beyond all reason, but getting a tangible indication that someone A) thinks about you occasionally and B) is actually willing to spend resources on your happiness, is something that holds value. Even if the present is trash.

Ðesolate said...

I personally prefer to have no chrismas at all. I´m atheistic and don´t believe in all the happy family stuff about little jesus etc. But I´ll never challenge a religion, because it´s a personal opinion. May be stupid, but as long as it doesn´t affect me I simply shouldn´t care. But clearly I feel wrong feeding a religious tradition what has only economic value to me.

Of course for the people I personally appreciate I usually take place in the yearly ritual (my mother, father and sister since it´s the only time in the year we get together, as usual). Of course I would do the same without the reason of a ritual but they prefer it that way and I´m fine with that.

Giving each other presents is also just a ritual componence at chrismas as the tree, lights candles and the rest of time spend together. I would also agree to ritually butcher a specific animal and eat it in a special way as it is tradition in other cultures. I simply show that I belong to my family.
Of course I only do it because it is little efford to me and their heard hangs on it. As long as everybody that is important to you is rational enough to accept your desicion I´m actually happy for you. I´m happy that my family accepts that I can´t believe in religious concepts that´s fair enough for me, joining a ritual per year is acceptable to make them feel compty about that.
(I fear I´ve done some textcycles sorry about that but well...)

@moron of the day: He knows everything but doesn´t care about changes or facts. That´s the worst case of M&S you can encounter. Nothing compares to an eletist bonehead. It usually takes houres to get them accepting they could be wrong. Not speaking of getting them to a educated stae of mind.

Julian said...

I think there are a lot better ways to express love, than giving gifts on Christmas. On that day, you HAVE to give someone a gift as most people feel forced by the cultural habbits. And they usualy measure the "love" by how much money they spent.
If you love your gf/bf/family, why don't you give them something out of the love you have for them on the 18th February? Why not on the 27th September? Why do people have to wait for Christmass to express their love, and only by spending money on buying presents? Why don't you do something nice, that costs you no money.

This year I also decided to skip Christmas, at least the presents buying. A lot of people were like "..but it's Christmas!!!" and I went like "So what?"

John said...

@Desolate: But other peoples religion does affect you. It affects their judgement on social & political issues. As part of society they then hold prejudices, vote and make other decisions based on flawed, irrational principles. In short, religion is a huge force for bad in the world and negatively affects all of us. To use Gevlon's terminology: It is one of the outdated ape-subroutines of the M&S that is no longer necessary or beneficial to humanity.

To quote Steven Weinberg:

"With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. "

chewy said...

I entirely agree with your sentiment but I disagree with the application of logic to the situation.

I don't like Christmas either, I don't like the present giving on the basis of tradition, that strikes me as the most shallow reason to give presents. I don't like trees in my house, the decorative street lights, the excessive consumption, the artificial goodwill and a myriad of other nonsense that we put up with.

However, there are some traditions that one has to grin and bear especially if one has children who have an expectation.

What ever you do over this holiday period I hope you enjoy it. Forget the logic, you don't like it, that's fine, you don't have to.

Ðesolate said...

@John: The religion of my nearest family members doesn´t affect me. Even the strange guy we have at Mönkebergstrasse with his huge cross yelling at people about sins affects me positively, since I can lighten up my day by thinking "good thing you´re still sane".

Actually I am atheistic so I see noc good in religion and agree in your term that many religions are a curse to humanity if they are taken serious in every way.
I personally hate fanatics and know some of them who cursed me and promised that they would come for me one day... know, drama.

The main problem is religion does a lot of good things too. I got to figure that out in my social service I did instead going to the armed forces (I´m not going to kill anyone and that´s what´s all about there) at a local hospital including a asylum.

I´ve met dieing people to whom nobody wanted to talk expect the pastor. It took me some time to accept that they are alive one day and you carry them out another. Same at mental deranged people or long term ill or people who suffer by epedemic illness. Do you think anybody came up to them? Maybe the family once in a Month if they had some and were lucky (I balieve about 20-30%.

Only the pastor and me, the eletrician, were there to talk to them and make their last days a bit more human (don´t you think the nurses or carers had time, they were totally overworked thanks to the economic strategy). I´m not a social that´s quite clear I think, but I can´t watch a friendly old lady die in a white lonly room staring out of the window.
I´ve had some talks to him and we differ in several opinions, but it didn´t matter if we differ in religion or in simple politics. You don´t have to state out every difference if you´re supposed to work together. I´ve been a furious enemy of any regligion until that day. But if this disbelieve is the only failure of that man doing a lot of good things, well I´m pretty shure I can accept that.

You know every society if religious, regonal or of other sources has it´s failing values. Saying that your value (even if it is atheistic and or anarchistic) is the only one right or the only thing that can bring up good things, you actually go the same path as the furious witch slayer. Beeing a fanatic never gets you to any good point, since it forbits questioning and envolving.

(sorry for that big text here)

Bernard said...


I believe you've missed an important component from your discussion of gift giving: the 'favour' you gain by giving a gift.

Imagine you're working for a multinational corporation that is under scrutiny for a number of questionable practises.

Christmas time is a fantastic opportunity to shower government decision-makers with presents, meals, tickets to events and every other gift you can think of. Even if the gifts run into hundreds of thousands of dollars, successful lobbying bought with 'good will' and positive thinking from the recipients will earn you millions.

Keep your powerful friends friendly and invest in those relationships: buy them gifts.

(Note: If your friends are not powerful or have nothing to offer you, then you are probably not a goblin..)

ardoRic said...

Azuriel: "Err... but isn't the value (V) of "big-eyed little furry critters" zero in your worldview? So why encourage their protection?"

The "big-eyed little furry critters" dying is a by-product of the world itself collapsing. If the world collapses, there is no world to be conquered by the goblins. While he uses the "freindly social" aspect of that collapse to convince you to not buy presents, it's also in a goblin's interest that you don't ruin his world, even if he doesn't give a damn about the little cute animals.

Don't mistake the arguments used to convince others with the reasons for his caring. Yesterday's post about achievements is a very good reminder of that.

Ulsaki said...

The only thing I really enjoy about Christmas is the meal with the family on Christmas day, something which involves relatively little of the money spent.

Gift-giving is consumerism at its finest.


"Finally, not buying at all is not the way to do it because it is the same as not going to vote for any candidate. You vote with your money when you buy something and you help the advancement of those companies that make things you/your firends like."

This is just silly. Voting with your wallet by not buying something is a vote. It's harder for companies to detect because there are many factors at play (are the bad sales caused by a lack of interest in the product, economic forces, a poor advertising campaign etc.?) but it will get picked up upon.

If Blizzard implemented a suggestion that was detested by 100% of the WoW playerbase, Blizzard would immediately revert it if everyone cancelled their subscription. On the other hand, if people decided to continue supporting Blizzard in the hopes that they might then make something they like, Blizzard would be A) laughing all the way to the bank and B) wouldn't change because the strategy is successful and market forces suggest it is popular.

Why do you think Blizzard changed a lot of content in Cataclysm? It was customers voting with their wallet by letting subscriptions and trials lapse due to the poor quality of the original content.

Olga said...

Well, gifts can have additional value. For example, i plan to make some sweets for my family. Those sweets taste better than store-bought, and they are cheaper. I like to spend time making things like that, it's my hobby. My family, however, doesn't like to cook complicated things, so we are with positive sum here. I spent less money on them that my family would pay for sweets in store, plus i had some fun. They will, in return, gift me something i would like to have, but don't have, cause i can't have anything i want.
People in real life prioritize, and usually have some queue of things they want to have. If two people decide to pick something from each other wish list and make presents, they are with zero sum here, plus some additional happiness from gifting and receiving a gift.
Same on any other additional value that could be placed in gifts. Say, some geek likes to read news about cool gadgets, so he knows about lots of funny things, that his friends would spend money for - but they doesn't know about the existence of such things for such price. And so on.
You just need to find a way that makes giving each other presents a positive sum game, and it's perfectly possible exactly because real life is way more complex than wow.

Sylvanie said...

I think that you forget the power of giving gifts to others. By giving something of value to someone else, you also compel them to return the favour, or else possibly risk your friendship.
Back in the day where I live, giving too expensive gifts was frowned upon, because that meant the receiver could probably not match the value with his own gift. The reciprocity had to be close to equal, else you were seen as either too cheap or just showing off (or reminding the receiver implicitly that you were much richer/more powerful than he was).

Of course nowadays, companies insist that everybody must spend their last penny on overpriced gifts to prove their appreciation of their family and friends, but that's just because they are businesses and want profit.

But, giving presents is not stupid. You rarely lose anything by it, since by giving someone a present you implicitly say "I value you, and I expect you to value me at least equally and show it - if not now, then at a later time".
That's my take on it anyway.

sha said...


I can obviously see your rational behind not giving gifts but what about a holiday party with your friends with everyone either buying/bringing food/drink? Assuming everyone either gave $100 or spent $100 (insert whatever cost) to have the party, are you against that as well?

Cyrell said...

So far, all the comments against giving presents at Christmas have been laden with quotes and ideas from Communists who obviously don't respect or value Christian traditions or culture. I know we're in a post-modern "death of the author" era, but even with that in mind, we should take with a grain of salt anyone's opinions who by their background and upbringing don't and can't by default have any understanding or put any value in traditions alien to their culture.

I mean, Christmas is a Christian tradition. Whether Jesus was against materialism and commercialism or not is not an irrelevant idea, but you have to be careful about applying his issues with materialism to Aunt Mildred's $30 sweater, or even better, the sweater Aunt Mildred knitted for you to keep you warm at Christmastime.

I'm not surprised that Steven Weinberg and Joel Waldfogel are Scrooges who are against religion and giving gifts. Let's be honest here, what else would they be? They both have a different background and culture that has been traditionally against Christianity for the past 2000 years.

Using their arguments against Christian traditions is like describing water as wet.

Anonymous said...

re: moron of the day.

This example seems rather weak. It's like catching someone "there" when they meant to use "They're".

Tonus said...

In that Biblical tale, Jesus was not condemning gift-giving, he was angry that merchants were using the temple to gouge people and make extra profits. He was, in effect, tossing out the goblins because they were taking advantage of the M&S.

I don't celebrate Christmas but I don't begrudge others if they wish to. I do think that it's odd that we're told that the holiday celebrates selflessness and giving by practically requiring people to buy and give gifts. It provides numerous opportunities for goblins to generate some extra wealth at the expense of M&S, though.

WeekendWarrior said...


Merry Christmas! Thanks for all the interesting posts this last year. Also, a Merry Christmas to all those who have posted here as well! While I seldom agree with all that is said, I enjoy coming here and reading others thoughts and the sharing of different points of view.
However you decide to celebrate or not celebrate this season, may you find the joy that you seek. And if it's not joy you seek but something else, may you find peace in your journey.


Anonymous said...

Sorry if I'm trying to sound edgy here but for a blog that takes goblin thinking behavior as virtue, today's MoTD just doesn't do that for me. I've seen it in other MoTD on here as well, too many times your submitter brags about posting their SS on your blog IN THE SS. Call me a moron but to me that's social behavior. These people claim to follow you but they don't truly believe in these ideals or are actually afraid of what people think of them. Thus, as you can see in SS like this that they go on the offensive, brutally attacking any other player to try and justify their way of playing to others. AKA "LOL GUIS I SURE TOLD THAT PRIEST I BE COOL RITE?!?".

I'd expect better from you guys.

Eaten by a Grue said...


Religion has produced some positive impact on the world, as your example well illustrates. So it is not all bad, but the thing that you did, there is no reason a secular organization could not do the same, and in a way it did, since you were a part of it, and you did not believe in god.

The problem is that you have to take the bad with the good, and we know all the bad things that religion has done. That same pastor may advise against condom use to his parishoners or other such nonsense.

So in all ways I can think of, a secular social work organization would be superior to the religious one.

Energybomb said...

My friends are never people I want to profit from. They MIGHT be my friends too, but I hold my personal life and my bussiness life completely seperate.

The reasons behind this are many, but the main reason is that I want the (completely M&S) feeling of security. When all the people close to me are people I want to profit from, the "safety" of the situation dissappears.

But, I definatelly agree with the "gifts to bosses", although this is less of a gift and more of an investment.

ps: That aunt Marlene serious has stuck with ya Gevlon, hasn't she? hehe

Xense said...

Gevlon, found your blog a week ago and read your philosophy posts up to current. I love your outlook on life/WoW. (I will not give in to my social side like this again)

I have two points to make, even though they are on "opposite" sides.

1. I remember something you mentioned that you may have forgotten... the value that our culture places on conspicuous consumption and conspicuous leisure. The question "Why do we give presents when it is wasteful?" has a simple answer: we give presents BECAUSE it is wasteful!

The social ape-subroutines are greatly pleased that money was wasted just in an attempt to make us "happy"! Ever notice how social women are happier receiving a useless diamond (symbol of love!) than a useful vacuum cleaner (symbol of "slavery"!)?

2. The value of receiving the item is greater than the item itself. Your WoW example may be accurate but it does not represent my thought process. I do not like shopping for clothes, it is the worst thing in the world to do! By receiving clothes (I wanted) for christmas I am receiving the value of the clothes plus the value of not having to shop for it myself! This is basically a huge time/hassle saver! In WoW, travel/shopping times are negligible, so one wouldnt' even factor them in (2 minutes to go to the AH, oh noez!) but in real life, the time saved makes gifts worth it to me.

And as an investment to make sure that this service is rendered to me next year I will buy presents for those that buy me presents... but because they are motivated by "love" I can get away with buying cheaper presents than they bought me. It's quite profitable.

Bobbins said...

This post reminds me of the the Malthusian enconomic references in A Christmas Carol.

Blegh said...

Chaotic post inc:

We only get presents for members of our primary group (closest family + partners). We make a list of things you would buy normally for a fixed amount. We chose one person and buy these things for them.

There is this 'need to belong' and to feel validated by your primary group. We exchange things of equal monetary value and in return we get validation from our fellow group members, and group-bonding experiences.

Your 'not buying gifts' can backfire. What if the person you have won't buy gifts for does value these holidays and the validation? She/he can feel excluded from the primary group. This exclusion can create a physical stress reaction; she/he ultimately chooses validation from a new group or can have a fight or flight reaction with you.

Exchanging gifts seems like a solution!

Part 2:
We also do something small for everyone that is highly valued by the other person. This is either done by creating additional value or a small gift of <4 euro that has a highly functional but also symbolic meaning.

You also automatically assume that presents have to be bought. This is an unfair assumption.
It is perfectly viable to do something to a raw product and transform it into something more valuable (which is not the case with BoE items). This additional value could not solely be obtained by the one who received the gifts.

My grandmother fixed a shirt that my cat ruined.
I burn cd's for my mother who does not spend time behind a computer, which saves her a lot of money (she values burned and original cd's the same. however, she would rather buy new cd's than spend time behind a computer figuring out how things work).
I gave my father business tips in world of warcraft and told him how the AH works (he has obtained 40k gold in the last two weeks, while he was <2k any time in the past).

In an ideal world, this should happen all the time. However, this is not always the case. X-mas can be a good excuse to think of which of your resources can be used to help primary group members.

There can be a more symbolic (although functional) presents that can create an extra sense of belonging.
My brother-in-law is afraid of animals. He will most likely buy me catfood like every year to show that he does not mind that evil and scary beast being around.

There is also the 'trying to gain favor from other groups' (from superiors/subordinates or other companies in a business environment) as explained by Bernard and other reasons to give gifts. The list goes on and on.

You can always make alterations to how x-mas gifts are given.

Exchanging functional gifts of equal monetary value has a benefit. It fulfills the need to belong. A feeling of ostracism can occur on an individual level when no gifts are being given.
There are ways to create additional value for your group by using personal resources.

spinksville said...

Giving someone a vacuum cleaner implies you expect them to do the cleaning. Not much of a present, would be better if you offered to do the vacuuming every day for a year yourself ;)

Forreststump said...

Handy rule of thumb: Don't comment on the way someone else is playing if 1) you don't give a flying rat's ass (if you don't care, why bother?), or 2) you don't play that class and don't care (if you don't KNOW, PLEASE don't bother!).

Seems kinda common sense to me...

Bristal said...

But Mr. Scrooge, don't Goblins everywhere profit from rampant consumerism?

You wouldn't have had "Glyphmas" if people hadn't waited til the last minute to do their "Glyphmas" shopping. And that surely put a big smile on your stubbly, be-moled face?

Earning a popular public forum by writing about making virtual money in a virtual game world, and then using that forum to castigate real life consumerism is quite a fascinating literal contradiction.

Xense said...

@spinksville: you are absolutely correct of course, I meant that more for the "housewife" type that already stays home and cleans anyway. If she's cleaning with the current vacuum cleaner, the new one is more effective.

I somehow imagine making it impersonal (this gift is for the family!) makes it worse, though perhaps when it's a useful gift this tactic may prove to be more socially acceptable (he didn't get a non-love gift for ME, he just got a functional upgrade for the FAMILY). Of course, this still requires you to give her a useless "love" gift... defeating the purpose of buying the useful one in the first place.

Weighing the reactions of socials is too hard, maybe I should just stop buying gifts altogether...

Michael said...

Well put Bristal.

I personally hate gifts given out of obligation (common at Christmas), but giving gifts as a true expression of gratitude, appreciation, love, etc... you can't put a value on it. And if you try to, then you completely miss the point.

This post makes me sad. I understand that the focus of this site is economic, but I feel like it goes too far when it's encouraging what I consider selfish and ultimately destructive relational behavior. Keep in mind that at its core, good business is about good relationships.

Anonymous said...

You are obviously not married.

Once you're married, lets say you get 'X'. And 'Y' is how much you have to spend on bills/fun activities/gifts/whatever. So X-Y is exactly how much your wife will be spending.

Now, you can't possibly buy something for yourself, and have only "X-Y-me" money left for your wife. Therefore the only way to get what you want, is hope Santa brings it for you.
In return, you can give a present to your friend ... assuming he too is married.

The math you described works for single or "going-out" people, not once you're officially married.

Ðesolate said...

"So in all ways I can think of, a secular social work organization would be superior to the religious one."

Yes that´s also my opinion. But we don´t have that. And we will not get that since atheistic people don´t pay any organisation for that.

I searched for a nonreligious caritative organisation that does the same in northern Germany but never found one.

I´m just have the opinion that it is ineffective to challange a system for that we have no replacement. Not speaking of more important cases of bad impact on the world as international kartels, warmongers, dictators and the corruption of our basic democratic system.

If it would be in my reach to change anything of the bad impact I´d do it but as usual my survie has the main priority.

(by the way since the pastor was evangelic I doubt he would ever say something against condoms or for excample homosexuals, since that are katholic issues in germany)

But anyway I´m always happy to meet another critic atheistic mind in this pretty hope-addicted world.

Anonymous said...

Xmas celebrations are like diamonds.

They are both shiny and people have been conditioned to believe they mean something. In both cases, they don't really mean what people think they do.

Diamonds are basically super high density carbon. The supply of this is virtually unlimited, as carbon is one of the most abundant elements on our planet. With excellent advertising, marketing and control of sources, companies like de Beers have sucessfully psycho-ed every woman in the developed world that "diamonds are forever" and that they should expect at least one if they are getting married.

Xmas celebrations do not really mark the birthday of Jesus Christ. Jesus wasn't born in the winter, there were no pine trees in Jerusalem and certainly he didn't ask everyone to give each other presents. Christmas day was coined by a Roman emperor who adopted Christianity, and 25 December, previously the birthday of a sun god the Romans worshipped, was taken to be the official Xmas day.

Orontu said...

Ulsaki: "Gift-giving is consumerism at its finest."

Wrong. You have to be taught something so deluded.

Gift-giving forces one to thoughtfully consider another person, their interests, passions, needs. Like anything else, it can be taken to an extreme or distorted from its original intention.

@Gevlon: Claiming Jesus was against shopping or giving gifts due His cleansing of the temple is intellectually dishonest.

Christ loved gifts - He gave His life as the ultimate gift to us.

Merry Christmas everyone.

thehampster said...


Here is a history lesson for you. Jesus was not born on Christmas. Christmas was traditionally a pagan holiday celebrating the winter solstice. Presents and Christmas trees have nothing to do with the Bible.

Christians initially attempted to stop people from celebrating the old pagan holiday. But it was such a longstanding tradition that people continued to celebrate it anyway. Therefore the christians decided to reinvent the holiday as Christmas, a celebration of Christ's birthday. Once again, Jesus was not born on (or remotely close to) Christmas.

Therefore I don't agree that it's fair to use bible stories to rationlize not buying presents during christmas. Most people celebrating Christmas these days aren't all that religious anymore. Christmas has always been much more a cultural holiday than a religious one.

thehampster said...

Don't most economists agree that Holidays which encourage spending are good for the economy? It creates jobs and helps business. This is an example where RL and WoW economies are different.