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I stopped at the credit union the other day to withdraw some money for Christmas presents. To entertain customers while they waited, the credit union installed a television behind the tellers’ counter.

lots-of-giftsScreen after screen displayed fun Christmas facts. One said that if we were to buy the original gifts from “The 12 Days of Christmas,” song today, it would set us back a whopping $107,000. That’s a big holiday budget!

At this time of year, retailers are having a field day – I don’t know about you, but I’ve gotten many emails with subject lines like “The 12 Gifts of Christmas,” all designed to send me dashing back to the credit union for more wads of cash to buy  whatever’s being sold.

It reminded me of a word I came across recently: emacity. This obscure word relates to a fondness for buying things. Thanks to my handy dandy Latin dictionary, I learned that emacity has Latin roots, from “emo” meaning “to buy or purchase.”

Emacity isn’t a word we use often; despite that, we act as if we know just what it means. According to one source, 2012 holiday spending in the United States has already reached $27 billion! Yowza!

And with the media showing clips of shoppers camped out for days in front of Target and Best Buy, waiting for the doors to open on great markdowns inside, it’s really no wonder we’ve attained such crazed levels of emacity.


Nellie’s emacity reached a fevered pitch at the Spare Me Bowling Shop. She mowed over store signs and plowed past shoppers in her zeal to buy nine pairs of high-heeled bowling shoes.

Whoa, Nellie! She might want to check out “One Cent at a Time,” a neat blog that discusses a different definition of what it means to be rich. You don’t need to sell your belongings and live in a pup tent along the highway to achieve this; rather, ask yourself how you’re already rich and what you’re thankful for. I’ll bet it isn’t anything that money can buy, and if that’s the case, I’m really happy for you.



So…whether you simply must have another pair of stylin’ bowling shoes, or feel the need to go on a shopping frenzy of another kind, keep a quote from Ben Franklin in mind:

“Rather go to bed without dinner than rise to debt.”