Friday, December 14, 2007

Ten Days Until Christmas

There are ten days until Christmas. And unfortunately, I'm just not feeling ho-ho-ho-jolly this year.

Sure, I have a lot to celebrate: my writing career is going strong, I'm in a solid relationship, my family is healthy, my daughter graduates from college next week.

But I just can not get into the seasonal festivities. I keep thinking that maybe, if we had a Christmas tree, I'd be in the mood. Or if I would put out all my Christmas decorations, I'd be festive - or at least the rooms would be. I haven't started shopping.

If there were more room in our living room, I would put up a tree. And the same goes for the decorations. And shopping can wait until after the actual Christmas holiday because both of our families aren't celebrating until the weekend after.

So what is really bothering me about Christmas? It's just so darn commercialized. I saw Christmas stuff in stores back in September.

And some people expect a present.

And that's not what the holiday is about.

Isn't the intent the giving and receiving of Christ? To give and receive in our lives, however you want to interpet that. And that doesn't necessarily mean tangible items. Can't we be happy that we are all healthy and together and just fore go the endless barrage of gifts that it seems I have to buy? I don't mind purchasing gifts for family; that's different. Plus, I know I'm going to receive practical presents from family members because we all seem to make a list of what we need and we stick to it. At least my side of the family does. I think Scott's family does, too. We're practical people! We don't expect lavish, frivolous gifts! (Of course, something decadent might be ok!! :) )

But it's the friends, or in some instances, acquaintances, who hand you a small token of the holiday season and look at you, questioning where their gift is. Ummmm, I barely know you, but I appreciate our budding friendship, so isn't that enough?

I'm not trying to take over the lead role in a Dickens story. The ghosts of Christmas past, future, and present don't need to hang out by my bedside or in my office to show me that I'm being a scrooge. Because I'm not.

I do like Christmas - the family gatherings, the carols sung together in five-part harmony (even if it's the redneck version of the 12 Days of Christmas), the bountiful buffet table supplied by all of the good cooks who grace my family, the reminiscing and missing of events and people.

I just don't like the commercialized "spend all your money and pay for it later" attitude that most retailers seem to have. If that's the attitude most people have, society will be paying for Christmas Christmas, when the never-ending cycle of meaningless and thoughtless gift-giving begins once again.

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