I have heard rumor that Celebrators of the Solstice are advocating spiritual observation rather than greed and materialism.
I fear our times of worry are fertile ground for such sentiment.
Alas, we're like the heroin addict about to receive open heart surgery. This is not the time to kick the habit. This is the time for a metered dose of morphine, until the critical point has passed.
Then there will a time for withdrawal and balance, though, alas, by then such sentiments will seem dull and unappealing.
Happily, there is a middle ground.
Those who have income and employment should buy liberally -- but give the goods away.
So get that HDTV, but then donate it.
Alas, I need a real economist to tell me if donating cash would work as well. Since cash is fungible donations may be a less effective economic stimulant (ok, so the opiate analogy breaks down) than toasters, coffee makers, and televisions.
Incidentally, in 86 days, on Feb 17 2009, analog tv is supposed to end.
There's a reason why that date was chosen -- after an election. The transition will not be a happy one for a nation in early stages of the Great Recession. On the other hand, it will force a significant jump in television and/or converter purchases.
So maybe we really should be buying digital broadcast ready televisions this Solstice -- for donation.