I think it’s official. I don’t really want to admit it, but, well….I’m going to. I’m over Christmas. Not the warm, fuzzy feel of it, but the commercialized, gimmegimmegimme of it all. The best thing about Christmas for this Black Dog is I get an extra day off with the hubby and the Wonder Mutt.
Let’s face it. Christmas is never really the same as it was when you were a rug rat. The excitement would build up for weeks as you waited to see what Santa would bring you. The tree would glow softly, Mom would lock us out of her room while she wrapped presents, cookie baking would be in full force, and you hoped Mother Nature would cooperate and send you snow that you could go sledding on after opening presents. Or in our case, jump on a toboggan that would lead us to almost certain death on many occasions. ALMOST.
That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the holiday season. I love the lights, the decorations, the lights, the music, the lights, the smell of fresh-cut pine trees, and the lights. (Are you getting the idea here?) At heart, I swear I have some distant genetic Osborne link in me somewhere.
It’s inevitable that we grow up – at least physically – and old traditions fall by the wayside. Getting the family together becomes harder as relatives move away. Time has to be split between families, work demands interfere with taking time off, and you start to realize just how crazy greedy people have become. Shopping on Thanksgiving Day? Really? We’ve become so consumed with finding the perfect gift, and finding it fast, that we spend an extra couple of days off fighting crazy shoppers who think nothing of stampeding over you to get the latest and greatest.
I think that perhaps, along the way, we’ve lost sight of what’s REALLY important. We chose not to put up a tree this year. We just didn’t feel like dealing with pine needles, the expense, or the inevitable aggravation because the lights once again have managed to come out of the box in a big, tangled mess, even though we KNOW they didn’t go in that way. We still decorated the house, and the hubby put the lights up outside. We’re not hosting any parties or having anyone over. It will just be the blessed peacefulness of us and the Wonder Mutt. And the menagerie of assorted water fowl we seem to be collecting in our lake. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I do miss the fun of stress-free shopping. I always loved when I’d happen across the perfect gift for someone. Seeing the joy on a loved one’s face when they opened it made every penny well spent. Over time though, my patience with shopping – and people – has grown quite thin. With the advent of online shopping, the only shopping I do now is for wrapping paper. And now the only gifts I really even buy anymore fall into the, “I don’t want them to think I’m not thinking about them at Christmas so here’s an awesome wine basket I would have bought for myself” kind of category. Am I sounding a bit like a Bah Humbugger? I’m really not. I just honestly feel sometimes like the human race has its priorities kind of skewed. I once suggested that we spend a Christmas doing some kind of volunteer thing, instead of giving gifts. You can imagine the look I got from the younger crowd. And THAT is truly sad.
So this is my challenge to you, dear readers. Take a break from all the craziness, greed, and chaos of the holidays. Take a moment and think of those who can’t be home to celebrate Christmas. Or those who are too poor, have no place to call home, or feel as though they have no one who cares about them. A little bit of kindness to these people will go a long, long way. And you just may be surprised what you get in return….along with a new tradition
Enjoy the ride.
What traditions do you have? Have you ever forgone giving gifts and spent the day volunteering at something? How would your family feel if gift-giving wasn’t part of the day?