Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas and the Economy

Before our quilt guild meeting yesterday I was part of a big round table -- women, all at or near retirement age -- and someone moaned, "I'm really being careful with spending this year for Christmas gifts". Everyone nodded. The conversation went on in this vein. One woman said she retired five years ago and felt good about being able to pay her expenses and have a couple of hundred dollars "to play with." But that's not true any more and she's beginning to look around for a part time job. Others, including moi, said they planned to work as long as possible.

Said one woman, "I've been never in a group like this and talked about these things before -- sometimes with family but for this to be true for all of us ..." Yes, the headlines are very close to home these days.

There was a general disconnect as the meeting's main activity was an auction to raise money. I have in the past skipped the December meeting because it is always a fund raiser in some way and I think that is extremely bad timing. We enjoy the guild, we want to help it continue it's very good meetings [the venue is quite expensive, as would be any in NYC large enough for us] and the upcoming show is very expensive to mount although we hope to make some money from it. Still I feel December is not a time when I want to be cajoled into purchasing items for myself -- oh, all right, I did buy a coupe pieces of fabric. Still the auction was a bit forced although the donated items were very attractive and some sold for very good prices. Somehow it seems to belay the holiday spirit.

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