Happier Holidays!

Matt Muhurin

Be of good cheer and all that crap. Indeed.

After reading the 7 Deadly Sins that Lead to Hoarding on Charles & Hudson, after hoarding a bit more information about it from across the Net, after deliberating how I might write about this behavior, I've decided simply to face my own. Hoarding. No. I don't have to pee in a urinal in my living room because the bathroom's barricaded with stuff. Nor do children have to leave home because there's no room for them. I don't even love the quaint look of stuff-stuffed rooms the way I used to, and I used to stuff stuff to rather great effect, if I do say so myself. Nuh-uh.

Nope. Without suffering any major neuropsychiatric disorders, I can find plenty of other reasons not to hoard. One of them is money. Shopping's no fun if you can't buy anything.

Lack of space is another reason not to haul anything else into the house.

Dusting. What attracts dust faster than stuff? I really have no desire to pick up all my stuff and wipe it down once a week the way my mother did. That was her calling. It ain't mine.

Health. Stuffdust is notorious for sucking the life out of lungs. Breaking one's neck tripping over stuff, or being buried alive by stuff is also life threatening.

Planet earth. As we well know. Insurmountable environmental evils are generated through the making, shipping, marketing, and inevitable disposal of stuff. I can't be responsible for that.

Gluttony. Nuff stuff. Nuff said.

Rather than head for the bridge because I can no longer live with my stuff-hoarding self, I think I'll just change my ways. Find other hallways to fill with this obsessive compulsive behavior. What choice(s) do I have?

★ I shall photograph stuff instead of spending all my money on it. I usually find that once I get it home, the burning urgency to own it goes away and I end up returning the thing. Stores love returns, because the hardest part of retail is actually getting the customer into the store. Let them prey on someone else from now on. Listen up, WWD and WSJ, the camera is the new fashion accessory. If I'm wearing my little black camera decoratively about my neck, I can "snap" up anything I like. Way more satisfying and so becoming. Antique stores are particularly exciting, but any old strip mall will do. Bonus: cameras are great at taking notes and recording ideas. Then, when I really do need to buy something, not only do I have the money, it's more fun. Way.

★ I shall create more blogs, photo groups, galleries and favorites files. The only thing better than having my stuff is having everyone else's stuff too. Warning. These activities can also become addictive and a terrible waste of time. I'll get back to you on this.

★ I shall get rid of stuff. Donate it to charity where it can either go to someone who could really use it or be resold to pay for meals, medicine, clothing and shelter. While I'm busy peacock feathering and ostrich pluming my nest, others are in desperate need of a twig.

Hark, Mr. Scrooge! Hark! The spirits have done it in one night of blog posting! My tannenbaum and I are ready to turn a new leaf. Anyone care to join the festivities? The holidays are notorious for their commercial crap. Who needs it? Not Santa - he and the elves make their own gifts. Not The Little Drummer Boy - he makes music. And the Three Wise Men weren't wise for nothing - they gave stuff away.

Granted, for thousands of years, even before Christmas, the holidays have been all about excesses. Even the Church couldn't change that. But as ever, it's not what you do but how you do it that counts. The holidays don't have to be an excuse to hoard. They can be a celebration of excesses like peace on earth and good will toward men. Hey, isn't that a novel idea. So this year I think I'll get a jump on my resolutions: Don't be a stocking stuffer. Do be a stuff stopper. Go forth and don't multiply.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some last minute shopping to do.