Bah Humbug (book review)

Tinsel: A Search for America’s Christmas Present
by Hank Stuever

I didn’t like this book. I didn’t like the people in it. For the most part they’re vapid, vain and self absorbed. The not-quite-rich with more money than sense.
I didn’t like the author. When he’s not insulting the people he’s dealing with over their oversized houses with oversized garages he’s sounding bitter and jealous over the very same things, often making sure we know the square footage of many the houses he’s been invited into.
We read about the people who obsess, over decorations, over lighting displays, over shopping. I was particularly offended by those people in the story who had a friend dying of cancer and after decorating the woman’s house they completely, utterly, ignored her. Do these people really think they “brought her so much joy!” by refusing to visit her in her last weeks on Earth? Were some free lights and tinsel a fair exchange for being ignored by her friends at Christmas?
I don’t know why the author chose this subject or these people but this just made me sad. I felt sorry for these people. I wasn’t amused or enlightened. The dry facts about the billions shelled out (and the amounts these families spent individually) during the Christmas season added nothing. Maybe if Hank Stuever had decided to focus on the overlooked people, the service people, the cashiers, the poor he’d have had a good Christmas story to tell. This, this only made me not want anything to do with Christmas this year.

Hawk (Humbugging)

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