I’ll admit that I don’t gamble, I don’t play the lottery – I am a true prairie boy who values every dime he has. Call me cheap, call me thrifty, but it’s all part of my charm. (Hey, and I have a bestselling book because of it!)
We hear the stories about how long-lost friends and family come out of the woodwork when someone wins the lottery. All of a sudden they have so much extra cash that everybody feels they are an ATM dispensing cash to anyone and everyone.
I am in a position that I get items from companies -- and I don’t want to use the term “free” items, but rather describe them as sample or promotional items. I have several platforms where people read or hear my words and for that reason companies will provide products for me to check out or give away to audiences for promotion.
With the Christmas programming on my syndicated radio show, I am amazed at how many people send me what I would consider a shopping list (or “wish list” as some put it) flat out asking me to give them things.
“I’ll take two BlackBerrys, please,” wrote one former high school classmate. Someone I have had no contact with who is still in touch with my brother out of nowhere sent me an explanation as to why he “deserved” to be given two cellphones. The email wasn’t a joke.
Throughout December I am giving away some high-end electronics items for our listeners – that’s right, our listeners. And while most people are happy with the surprise of winning a contest, I’m stunned so many people would be ballsy enough to just contact me on the side and ask to give them stuff. (“Do you have like a laptop or TV or something?” I was asked.)
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about giving and doing nice things during the holidays. And I absolutely am doing that for the million listeners of my show, but we’re having fun with it and making games of it. I think there’s a bit of greed this time of year when people think they’re owed something just because out of the blue they decide to suck up and kiss your butt.
Charlie Brown said it best, Christmas is just too commercial.