Although Christmas has past, if still you’re  still looking to exchange gifts or use a gift card, perhaps might I recommend a book entitled Tinsel: A Search for America’s Christmas Present by Hank Stuever. Here is a review of it.

I just discovered this book the other day and I have nether have read or even bought it. But from the reviews it sounds profoundly interesting look at low upper-class or high middle class U.S. culture from the years 2006-08, particularly when it comes to Christmas itself and how it is celebrated in the Dallas suburb of Frisco.

Indeed this exchange between the author and one of the residents of the suburb says a profound lot:

“I ask Tammie if anybody has a real tree, or if she ever uses real greenery on the mantel.

Almost never, Tammie answers bluntly. None of it is real. She tells me to underline this one fact in my notes: “Fake is okay here.”

It is faux-finished, plasticized and derivative—but that’s not the point. Tammie has Christmas figured out. It has less to do with true authenticity than a feeling of it …

“Absolutely fake is okay here. Diamond earrings. Christmas trees. If you want me to prove that fake is okay here, let’s you and I go to the Stonebriar Country Club pool one day and check everyone out. You will see that fake is okay here.”

It seems as though our subdivisions are being built to resemble make-believe lands.