Tag: consumerism

Gracious Receiving 101



What to do if we receive a Christmas present we hate? University of Baltimore MFA student Melinda Cianos gives it to us straight.

Okay, let’s review. This holiday season you are likely to receive, if you’re lucky and people like you, a nifty gift or two. Please do not forget the appropriate reaction to said gifts in order to avoid the severed relationships and tarnished reputation surely to follow you into the New Year if you do. Below: a few reminders to help you stay in good, gracious standing.

Bed, Bath & Beyond: My Worst Job Ever


bad_boss3Baltimore writer and UB undergrad Sarah Rayman describes her creepiest work experience to date — and what a wonderful truth she learned from the ordeal.

My friends were mixing cheap liquor with Mountain Dew and playing beer pong in Jeremy Sullivan’s basement. I was trapped at Bed, Bath & Beyond, ringing up the one person in Baltimore who felt the need to exchange a cartload of bathroom accessories for a $200 duvet cover at 9:59 on a Friday night.

“Yes, I Am a Grinch”: One Mother’s Christmas Confession


2008-12-25-christmas-joyAward-winning poet and essayist Elizabeth Hazen reflects upon personal Christmas giddiness past as she watches her child gleefully anticipate the big day.

Overwhelmed by the rampant materialism and cheap sentimentality of the holiday season, I find it difficult to make it through New Year’s without succumbing to self-medication and retreat. Multiple viewings of the horror classic Black Christmas and the “cha-cha heels” scene from John Waters’ Female Trouble help, but are not enough to quell my disgust when holiday music infiltrates every public venue and commercials, even muted, blare loudly with garish colors about outrageous deals on useless crap.

Yes, I am a Grinch.