Oh Joy! I got my first Christmas card today. The holidays are here. If you listen to the advertisers the holidays were here before the Halloween decorations were taken down. The stores opened at midnight on Black Friday and people have been waiting in massive lines to join the masses in overspending. Ho, Ho, Ho!
Oh, did you hear a town in Florida wants to ban Santa from saying "Ho, Ho, Ho"? They say that some people may find it offensive and derogatory. If we weren't there already we have definitely crossed the line of being too politically correct. Call me crazy but I want my Santa to say "Ho, Ho, Ho" and I'm not offended if someone wishes me a "Merry Christmas."
Over the past few years I seemed to have lost my holiday spirit. It is all so commercial and nothing like it was when I was a kid and the only thing I had to worry about was whether Santa would bring me the toy I wanted. Some days I feel my joy has turned to dread at the thought of all the obligations and temptations coming from every direction.
There is so much pressure to do it all, do it early, get gifts bought and wrapped, get the Christmas cards bought, signed, stamped, and mailed, get gifts shipped, go to all the parties, get very little sleep and be surrounded by holiday temptations every day. It is no wonder the average person gains 7 pounds over the holidays. Some years I just want to take a vacation and get away from it all.
The frustration of trying to find the right gift for each person makes my head want to pop. The last few years I've given my nieces and nephews money or gift cards. I hate that. Money and gift cards is the easy way out but I don't want to waste my hard earned pay on things that will never see the light of day after the Christmas lights are put away. Gift cards and cash seem to say "I give up," "I don't know what the hell to get for you," "just go out and do the shopping yourself," "I can't be bothered to take the time to find you a present." I know the kids don't see it that way. The kids are happy to get the money but it just doesn't feel like Christmas if they only open an envelope. I hope I can do better this year. I actually picked up a few presents throughout the year (which is so not like me, I'm the Christmas Eve shopper) when I saw something that said this would be perfect for so and so.
I'm going to propose that next year we take all the money we would have spent on gifts for our friends and family (ok not the little kids 'cause that would be cruel) and buy something for ourselves that we've always wanted, put the money towards a trip or gym membership or whatever is important to you. When Christmas comes you write a note of thanks to everyone for making it possible for you to get whatever it is your little heart desired and we'll have birthday cake. After all, it is a birthday celebration, right?