It's no wonder people don't seem to have a firm grasp of reality. This whole culture of American consumerism is permeated with rank artificiality. I spent eight hours at work yesterday unboxing more fake candles than I have ever seen in one place before. I promised myself years ago that I would never own a plastic battery-powered candle. "Flickers like a real candle!" Not it doesn't; it flickers like a faulty lightbulb!
We have fake smells, fake flavors, fake fur, fake leather, fake flowers, fake trees, fake fingernails, fake diamonds, fake sunlight, whole fake lives in fake computer-generated worlds with fake friends and fake money. Even real money is fake now. Did you know quarters and dimes used to be made of silver? Maybe you did, but lots of other people don't. Almost everything real in our lives seems to have been replaced by a cheaper, more convenient plastic imitation.
I think it's high time we got back to the nitty-gritty. Burn real candles this holiday season, and set the table with real flowers once in a while. I don't care whether you buy a prepared arrangement or pick some dandelions out of the backyard. It will be worth it, I promise.