Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tis "The" Season be what? Jolly?

Many of us out there are barely leaving paycheck to paycheck. And if not for my wonderful in-laws, would have be out on the street months ago. Inasmuch as it pains my husband to ask for help with the mortgage, my friend told me to be thankful they are here to at least be able to help us. If not for them we would be on the street or crammed into a 2 bedroom apartment.

But we are getting to roll into the busiest shopping times of the year. And for what? So you can out spend your friend, neighbor? Max out your credit cards? Why? And what is the real meaning of Christmas. For me it is a time to b with family, for I follow no religion, you could technically take Christmas and tell the retailers where to place it. I prefer to be with people, not have a nagging feeling that if I don't get them gift they won't be my friend any longer. That is not how it should go.

And if there is a God/Jesus, would he approve of how his followers are handling this new-found holiday that is supposed to celebrate his birth. IT has become so far removed from the celebration of the birth of Christ that it should scare some Christians, and yet it does not. They too, stand in line when Wally World opens it doors at 5 a.m. to a collection of spending floozies. They purchase a gift that junior will play with for what...2 maybe 3 days, then he will lose interest and let it fall by the wayside.

We have, out of necessity, gone to baked goods for our gifts. I purchase a few baskets from yard sales or Goodwill and fill them with breads and cookies. No one has complained to date...would you turn away homemade bread for a Yankee Candle? I say bring on the homemade gifts.

And why do we have to wait until December 25th to show our friends and family how much we love and or appreciate them. Why not have them over for dinner once a month. Make it a pot luck. Help someone with house cleaning who may not be able to do for themselves. Let someone use your washing machine if theirs is broken. Take someone to work if you are able. the list is endless as to how you can let your friends and family know how much you enjoy having them around. What better way to enjoy someone company then over a good table of food and some wine. Let the conversation flow and before you know it, it is time to kick your company out the door.

I am over all this Christmas buying. I may even boycott Christmas.

Have you ever watched A Charlie Brown Christmas? It's A Wonderful Life? now those are true holiday, good feeling movies. It's not about how much you give, but how you give. If you feel the need to give, give from the heart, not your pocket. Make something. People can cook, knit, paint, write, craft, you name it, it is out there. Find something you are good at and do it. And learn to plan ahead. Start after the holidays. Put a little bit away each time you get a chance, or start buying tidbits at a time. That way you are not running out on Black Friday trampling people to death (literally) for that Tickle Me Elmo. This years hot seller will be in next years garage sale.

Sit back and rethinking what Christmas is to you. Why do you celebrate this misconstrued holiday. I for one will be changing how I approach this holiday. The spirit of Christmas should be all year long, not for 1 day.


Tara B. said...

I agree with you 100%, GREAT post! Glad to see I am not the only one out there thinking this way.

I think it is quite ridiculus what this holiday has become.

We can't change the world, but we can change ourselves and how we view and celebrate the holidays.

For most of the world it is just a time for more buying, spending, and give-me's. Not interested in that, no thank-you!

We are decorating our tree and putting up our nativity and advent wreath today, but you wont see us out in that crazieness at the malls and other retail outlets.

We will be focusing on what the holiday means to us, spending quality time with family, and hopefully doing something in our community to help others. My kids were very inspired by a couple of stories I posted on my blog yesterday and are begging us to do something like feed the homeless. Those are the things they'll remember far longer than they will that latest toy or gadget.

Permission to Mother said...

I agree with you too. Particularly why "wait til Dec 25th" to show you care. Care all year.

William Cooney said...

I'm with the three of you. There is something perversely symbolic about people dying as a result of a stampede into a retail store the morning of Black Friday. If that imagery doesn't say something about where we're headed! Wow!

I had a sister (she passed away 2 years ago from lung cancer) who knew something about being frugal because she did not enjoy very good health during her lifetime. But she sure knew how to make the most of the holidays. She gave of herself so completely. Some of my fondest memories of her include the pot-luck dinner parties she enjoyed hosting. Her gift was her time, her energy, and her ability to love. I'm taking a cue from my sister's memory and concentrating on celebrating the truer meaning of the holidays: giving of the self. So much joy can be had, and shared, by simply making the effort to lift the spirit of someone whose spirit could use a little lifting.

Terrific post!

Bill611 said...

I think you and I were separated at birth...

I totally agree. For years now I have realized how much more I enjoy Thanksgiving than Christmas. You get all the warmth of the season and family without all the ridiculous financial stress.

I can imagine that what we celebrate as Thanksgiving today is probably more like what Christmas was originally like. Hopefully we'll never muck-up Thanksgiving by letting the retailers get hold of it too.

Veg-a-Nut said...

I so agree that Christmas has become a spend all, go broke, and out do the neighbors with decortating. I do have a stong faith in Jesus Christ and it saddens me to see the way His birthday celebration has gone. Since our children were little they knew that they had to give a homemade gift before they were allowed to buy a gift for anyone. To this day the tradition still stands. Baked goodies Rock and I have never had anyone thing less of us for our family tradition.

Brandie said...

Hey! Thanks for the compliment on mny tattoo (on my mom's blog, BoosVegaNut), I can't WAIT to get some more ;) I want this one to go down into a 1/4 maybe even 1/2 sleeve. Whoohoo for body art! Love your piece on Christmas too. I'm Christian but agree with you, I think Christmas (and all other "holidays" for that matter) are WAY over-commercialized. I'm down to baked goods this year too, and we're also not out on the street thanks to our parents :) So I know how you feel. Although I do have to say that giving gifts (homemmade or otherwise) is FUN, so I would say that if I had the money to burn, I'd still buy gifts cause it's fun. :) And I'd definitely take the bread over any Yankee candle!

Happy Homemade Holly-days mama!

♥Mademoiselle♥ said...

the begining was really funni
i like your blog it is cute :)

appleleaf said...

Yes, this post strikes a few chords. Giving-under-compulsion just doesnt cut it. It even STOPS people giving during the rest of the year, because they have the excuse that Christmas has made them broke.
If you ever get hold off "The Grumpy Old Men's Christmas special" I think you'd get a few laughs.

Permission to Mother said...

Me again... Thanks for entering my give-away! :)

Synia said...

I TOTALLY agree with you!! I am starting to become a bit of a scrooge and can't wait til my girls are a little older and I don't have to do the whole santa thing...I am SOOO over it at this point!! Every year I spend hundreds of dollars on presents for my girls only to have bills to pay off for the months after and for what?? so they can play with what they got for a few weeks and then want something new!!!

I am so over the whole Chrismas thing! I am right there with ya!! Bring on the homemade gifts. :)