Are these a few of your favorite things?
I started this post before Christmas and just didn’t finish. That’s how much I struggled this season.
Every year I feel I handle Christmas inadequately. I struggle coming up with the perfect gift for everyone, and I then feel I’ve failed with what I do end up with. Please tell me I’m not alone here.
My main issue is that we already have everything we need … even what we want. We live in an age of instant gratification. When we want something, we buy it. That’s fine! Work hard, buy hard – by all means! It’s good to reward yourself throughout the year. Don’t deprive yourself and wait until the end of the year to see if you receive what you want as a gift (whether or not you’ve told or hinted about it).
What is Christmas all about?
If you have a little time, read: History of Christmas. The day wasn’t meant to be about abundance and extravagance. Department stores are to blame for people increasingly overspending on gifts by way of over-marketing. Christmas commercialism was a hot topic by as far back as 1904. This is not a new thing!
This caused people to try to “keep up with Joneses“. Don’t do that. Seriously, just don’t. Who gives a rip what little Billy-Bob and Sally-Mae get for Christmas! Make your values, budget, and intentions clear in your family ahead of time to help avoid comparison and disappointment.
A perfect Christmas for me is a few not-too-extravagant gifts, games, movies, and fun. Ham is a must … turkey is a bonus.
My little secret…
Every year as I get back to work after the Christmas holiday, I find myself glad that it’s over. This is partly due to everything above, but it also has a lot to do with the fact that Christmas for my kids was nothing like it was for me when I was young and surrounded by extended family. It makes me sad that they didn’t grow up with the same holiday experience I grew up with.
Being away from family is one reason that I don’t place a high importance on the holiday. It’s very hard for me to ignore the sadness and loneliness to get my heart fully into the holiday season. I try, but I’m not gonna lie … a couple tears fell during the holiday week this year.