Who needs Santa anymore? We now have the “Careculus” from jet.com to tell us how much our “friends” fawn on us (I am not making this up – it’s being advertised on television).
In case you missed the ads, here’s the claim: “Using advanced Careculus, find out how much your friends have liked and commented on your posts this year to see what to spend on their gifts.”
Sure makes me want to actually create a Facebook account so I can “like” a bunch of people and be rewarded for their narcissistic approach to life.
However, I think I’ll just stick to face-to-face social conduct and occasional emails or Christmas cards to people I actually know.
Plus I really don’t want or care for virtually anyone in the world to have a view into my kayaking, vacation or hiking adventures (and possibly steal my identity while they’re at it).
So if you’re planning to use this Careculus on my presents, you’ll be disappointed and I have more bad news: I don’t want or need any “thing.”
I would like to see more people happy and cheerful, especially at the Christmas holiday season, but even more throughout the year. That’s what really warms my heart.
Back to the Careculus: This is perhaps the saddest, most disgusting use of technology I could imagine. First, it really rewards the giver based on its premise that you, the giver, reward “likes” of your posts. Has nothing to do with how much you “like” the recipient – or their posts.
Then there’s the issue of monetary or gift valuation based on solely social connections. What about the newspaper carrier, gardener, minister or others with whom you have a physical connection (as opposed to a virtual connection).
What about the whole concept of Santa’s gifts for nice children versus lumps of coal for naughty ones?
My most memorable gift was the orange in my Christmas stocking each year. My father said he gave it to show me what it was like for him growing up.
Getting an orange was the special – and only – gift at Christmas for him growing up in “orangeless” Kansas in a family of nine children where the older ones worked to support the rest.
Bad behavior did indeed bring a lump of coal (which subsequently was used to heat the stove). His story is still with me and reminds me of just how fortunate I am – that’s a real gift, the gift of appreciation.
Two thousand years ago, a Jewish child was born in the humblest of settings, lived a life of modesty, shared parables, teachings and beatitudes and ended His life in the cruelest of manners, nailed to a cross.
That is the real Christmas story. To really celebrate and appreciate Christmas, give any gifts to those in need who you don’t even know.
And give your children an orange and a day of your uninterrupted time doing something simple like exploring a state park or visiting a senior home.
Greet people with a genuine smile and a Happy Hanukkah or Merry Christmas (or both). As the song goes, “Just be good for goodness sake.”
These actions are the real “Careculus.”
Walt Watson is a Saugus resident.