Friday, December 15, 2006

Consumer Culture: Dubious but Delightful

Sometimes things that we know are dubious also give us great delight and joy. Take the unseasonably mild weather we're having. It makes one worry about the trees and the glaciers and it doesn't do much to generate holiday spirit. But it is also delicious.

Last night, our run to deliver packages to customers took us into Manhattan and we decided to make it into a date. We ate at the brightly lit diner on the corner of 71st and 3rd where burgers, a side of broccoli, and a black-and-white milkshake refueled us after a rigorous day. The agreeable night air drew us to Fifth Avenue which is sumptuously done up in all its holiday glory, especially at Bergdorf Goodman's.

To me, Bergdorf's holiday windows (pictured here) are some of the best public art in town and we make a point to see them every year. It's theatre, it's sculpture, it's fashion, it's craft, it's shopping, it's practically performance art. And it's free! (Alas, I didn't have my camera, but there is a marvelous Flickr set of pictures here by "James" of If you can't come see the windows in person, these pix shouldn't be missed.)

Shopping is another dubious thing that can bring delight and joy. Yes, holiday shopping is heavily consumerist and capitalist and corporate/fascist and is able to create materialistic gluttons of us all. But it certainly can be delicious as well. I'm not a big shopper myself, but I do like to go out and visit good stores, peruse the wares, glean display ideas. Often I'll find a piece of furniture or pair of shoes that set me alight. And I'll admit that when I entered Uniqlo (a new store from Japan priced like the Gap) I wanted practically everything I saw. (How the heck do stores do that?) I usually don't buy. (I splurge on nice food instead.) But I love to look and pick things out, carrying them home to the dream house in my mind. Although I probably should start my Christmas shopping soon...!

One way to make good with your shopping is to be conscientious of your dollar votes. (Click here to read what I wrote about that last holiday season.)

Back at Greenjeans, we're at T-10 days and counting. Holiday shopping is in full swing and we're incredibly busy. This weekend my little sister will be helping us at the shop, and we'll certainly be needing it (knock wood)!

Here are a couple pictures of the shop taken during this mild, overcast day. It may not quite feel like the holiday season, but we're trying!

Happy Hanukkah!
Elise takes a break from holiday shopping in the Child's Rocker.

Gifts and holiday cards awaiting new homes

Presents neatly wrapped in tissue paper or nestled in recycled paper boxes. Even the twine "ribbon" is recyclable!

Packages boxed and prettified ready for delivery

Even the chairs seem to be longing for proper December weather!

Things made from wood or felt have been the biggest sellers so far this year. But we predict that we'll be wrapping up a lot of jewelry as the men come out to do their last-minute shopping...

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