WARNING: RANT AHEAD
This may sound like something a person with no money would say but that is beside the point. Christmas should be about a celebration of life and being with those you love, not about presents. Those of you who will agree with me but still have a ton of presents waiting anxiously to be unwrapped don’t really get it. Everyone knows the true meaning of Christmas has been lost for years somewhere in the mall. If anyone says otherwise they are probably trying to convince themselves that they are not greedy materialistic Christmas drones.
Go ahead and call me a Grinch, I don’t mind. Sure I love getting things. Who doesn’t? If it were truly about family and friends Black Friday wouldn’t be extending to Black Week or Black Month, as it seems this year. On a side note: as long as there are people willing to ditch family on Thanksgiving to wait outside in the cold in order to acquire more things to pack into their already overloaded homes our economy is doing just fine. The crazier this Black Friday thing gets every year the more we forget about what really matters. It is known that this is the most stressful time of year. I believe people stress themselves out by trying to make everything “perfect”. The party must be perfect, the food must be perfect, and of course the most important of all the presents must be perfect. Everyone needs to chill. Nothing needs to be perfect. Whatever happened to less is more?
I love my in-laws and consider myself very blessed to name them as such. However, my husband’s family has this tradition I don’t really agree with. I’ve tried talking to them about it but my point was lost. Everyone in the family must make a wish list so that we all know what everyone wants. I love to DIY and craft and I feel like those kinds of gifts are few and far between. Last year I made a huge batch of lotion in three different scents to gift to all the women in the family and a few friends. Was it appreciated or even used? I hope so considering all the careful thought and love that went into it. The lotion may not have been the right consistency but it still got the job done.
I much prefer giving to receiving. I love giving things to people from the heart and to me that usually means you better expect something handmade. One year I made a ton of chocolate sauce in three flavors (peppermint, raspberry, and vanilla) that you could top ice cream with or whatever you like. That seemed to be a big hit. Probably because it was delicious (I need to find that recipe again). This year I have decided to make these. They sound amazing and I love individual desserts. I’ve never had one come in a jar so this will be interesting.
There are three reasons I will buy someone a gift:
- Sentimental- I think it would mean a lot to them.
- Practical- It is something they genuinely need, would use a lot, or would help.
- Lack of Christmas spirit- I don’t believe they would be happy with something homemade because it’s not on their list.
I’m just as guilty as the next person for losing sight of what’s important. Honestly I’ve come to the point in my life where enough is enough. We have plenty of stuff and no room for more in our cozy modest house. I have even started a purging process in an attempt to declutter my life. After so many years I realize material possessions are not what life is about. I have a confession though: I’m a want box and I don’t know how to stop! Since I can’t get away with not making a list (I’ve tried in the past) I go along with it. There are lots of things I want and if someone asks then I’ll tell them. I am disgusted with myself every time I make a list. Looking at all the bullet points thinking I don’t neeeeeed any of these things so why do I want them? I can justify almost anything I want into something I need. That’s the problem. I fool myself into thinking I need this when all I’m doing is not being grateful for what I have. The sickness this country suffers from is Moreitis. There always needs to be more, better, and bigger. This ultimately results in never being happy with what you have or yourself.
This Christmas is different being the first with our little one and it really got me thinking. I don’t want to raise her to be a hoarder, materialistic, ungrateful, or a want box like myself. I feel like a good way to nip that in the bud is to teach her the true meaning of Christmas. We aren’t getting her anything this year because we don’t have the funds and I know she will be plenty spoiled by family. I posed a question to my husband, “How can we still enjoy Christmas without all the presents?” The answer seems pretty obvious. Don’t buy anything. I shouldn’t even need to ask such a question. The fact that I did proves my point.
Stockings, for example, should have a few staples and nothing more. The contents include: an orange, an ornament, a sweet treat, a small gift, and a game. People should not buy things just for the purpose of filling the stocking. If you are doing this it may be an indication your stocking is too big. When it comes to presents if you aren’t the crafty type there are other things you can do. I came across this on Facebook and it gives me hope that Christmas is not lost:
Please pass this on if you wish to end the present madness. Stop letting consumerism get the best of you. Resist the urge to find that “deal”. Tree fillers are unnecessary. We could all use a little “less Christmas” to gain sight of what truly matters. Enjoy the company instead of wondering what’s under the tree. I would love to be proved wrong.