Thanksgiving has come and gone for 2011, and the Christmas rush is on. The spending frenzy has commenced, so let the countdown begin.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas as much as the next guy…maybe more, but every year I can’t help thinking, and sometimes even verbalizing, “How did Christmas become such a spend-fest?”
Long gone are the days when Laura and Mary Engels were thrilled to each receive their own drinking cup and a peppermint stick. Times are different, I know, I know! It just seems to be bordering on insanity when you take today’s already too-full schedule and add to it, shopping for the multitudes (and only the latest and greatest will do) decorating the house, inside and out, attending the myriad of holiday functions, along with the extra cooking, baking, cooking, baking…I’m just saying.
This is my Christmas rant. I just have to get it out of my system and I’ll be fine, I promise. Last year I overheard a woman telling someone that her young daughters were only getting an ipod Touch and an American Girl Doll and THAT WAS IT! I’m thinking, the poor schmucks. Seriously! That’s it?!!
Where does this money come from? Do families budget for this kind of expense? When I was growing up I remember my parents having a “Christmas Club” banking account. Not sure the details, but I think you deposited money into the account weekly, or on a regular basis, and if/when you met the pre-determined amount of money in the account, the bank would kick in a little extra. Do they have accounts like that around these days?
To each his own, that is my mantra of the season, but I must admit, I really don’t like the whole “What do you want, make me a list” rigmarole. Buy me what YOU want, or don’t get me anything at all. Not trying to sound ungrateful, or stingy. I appreciate the gifts
I receive, and the time that went into them.
I especially cherish handmade items or gifts with a bit of family history attached (batteries not included). I love giving as well, I do. Just ask my husband! My grief comes from the huge commercial event Christmas has become.
Having said all that I now need to say how much I enjoy the traditions. I love to pile in the car and drive around looking at lights with my family. We did that when I was a child, and my husband and I have continued to do that with our kids. Heck, we even did that with some friends during the pre-kid season of our lives.
I like gathering at my parents’ home to “decorate” the cookies of various shapes and sizes, with all (or most) of their grandchildren, my kids included.
The ornament exchange on Christmas Eve night, after we return from gathering with my parents, brothers and their families, is one of my favorite things. Spending time with extended family members during the holiday season that we only see once or twice a year is a treat as well.
I’m really not a Scrooge. No “Bah, Humbug” for me. I like Christmas. I just wish it was a little more peaceful, and a lot less stressful for all of mankind. Is that too much to ask?
I must admit,I am writing this as I sit in a room surrounded by boxes and boxes of bows and bags, and ornaments, and Christmas figurines galore, freshly taken down from the attic by my two teen-aged sons.
Now if you will excuse me, I have ornaments to make, some cards to mail, a tree to assemble, some cookies to bake, and eggnog to buy while I take a break from shopping, shopping, shopping!
Tis the season!