Usually around this time of year I'm yakking up this commercial holiday or season, making up stories about that fourth king (yes, I'm allowed).
At one point I thought Uncle Sam might come out for some mid-summer night's stimulus shopping, but I could see where he'd not wanna upset his Christian neighbors. Christians harbor some of the most vindictive and mean-spirited people imaginable, but that's to be expected of any "salvation army" religion. "All saints" would mean "game over".
As it is, I've been pretty frugal, not thinking mindless consumption will really help anyone. What Americans are hungry for are fun plans for a bright future. Those would be true gifts I think.
However, we have a lot of anti-futurist (antediluvian) politicos who just wanna go back and hash over the past, devote the rest of their pathetic short lives to analysis of the good old days.
Obviously the younger set gets impatient with this, as that wasn't their time. So yeah, the generations segregate some, can't be helped. The more historically minded will find ways to reach across such gulfs and bond with counterparts in other age groups. Not everyone has such gifts (which is why we call them gifts).
Both the real Christmas and its commercial echo should be about sharing gratitude in an inter-generational spirit. Santa Claus has that kind of audience, even if he's of relatively recent vintage, goes off the rails sometimes.
The Easter Bunny is just as timeless.
This year, we had Michael Jackson to bring us together, albeit out of sadness at his untimely loss. Better we should rely on myth and the miracle of commercial advertising to get us in the spirit. Gifts of public service might also be rendered.
All that being said, I think it's about time to replace that broken blender.