It is the day after Black Friday, and I am still pondering if I want to celebrate Christmas this year.
The day after many of you have racked up hundreds of dollars on credit, got washed along in that torrent of Thanksgiving Day-pre-Black Friday-spending-buy-it-now-or-you-will-be-a-holiday-has-been retail gimmickry, I have spent zilch. Well I did buy a book for my Kindle. But it was not a Christmas gift. (I hate delayed gratification which is why I have trouble keeping Christmas gifts a secret until December 25.)
The rationale is this: my daughter is 21 and has her own place and goes full tilt holiday. Happy for her. Keep it over there. I have three cats at home that, from what I can gather, only enjoy the tree aspect of Christmas so they can lap water from its base. They don’t care about their stockings or how well you can see the lit up house from Route 35. My husband starts grumbling as soon as I start hauling the bags of wreaths and lights from the garage attic.
The first year I quit Christmas cold turkey was in 2010. I had good intentions. I had a Sunday planned to get my fresh evergreen. That day it snowed. Then I got busy. Then I just said why bother. I don’t even think I bought my daughter gifts per se that year. I paid her $700 tuition balance and called that Christmas. Yes hate on me.
Last year I put up a tree and even some outside lights. A bit more festive. And I bought gifts.
I see it now as an annual toss-up. “What are we thinking this year, Shawn?” “How about you, cats? What are we feeling?”
I am not being anti-Christian. Notice I am opposed to the retail-ization of Christmas. And amazed, considering the precarious economy teetering on this allegorical fiscal cliff with the threat of lower paychecks come January, that more people aren’t reining in their holiday spend. Yet yesterday, Wal-Mart posted its most lucrative Black Friday ever.
Here are more truths. My extended family used to have big Christmases where we bought gifts for everyone. But we started scaling back. And no one seems to miss the gifts.
I have lived through December 24 without a sack of gifts to give the next day. And I survived.
Sorry, the warm fuzzy takeaway from watching “Christmas with the Kranks”’ escaped me. Why not go on a cruise for Christmas? The Kranks had it right. Like my friend Holger. If you want to live vicariously, Holger is your guy. Last Christmas Day he left for a holiday to steamy Colombia. This year he is toying with the Caribbean.
That is my dream Christmas: a tropical getaway. I don’t even think hearing the Lexus jingle outside my window could incite equal excitement. (I’m just not a Lexus kind of girl…)
In 1994 my husband gave me a set of knives for Christmas. I don’t think I need to expound upon that statement for you to see my point. It’s a stretch to go from Farberware to Barbados, I know.
I just ask for acceptance. For example, I love 100 degree humid weather, love to bask in it, and can’t get enough. I know a lot of people don’t share my enthusiasm for subtropical temps. That’s okay, I get it. We accept each other. Society should treat Christmas the same way. Either you love it or hate it but it’s all okay. Don’t shove Santa down my throat. Don’t make us out to be Christmas pariahs.
Or atheists or Scrooges, or Grinches, although Scrooge and the Grinch may have been atheists. If they were they are still giving atheists a bad rap because a lot of people seem to assume that is how all atheists look, should you happen to stumble upon one. (Psst… I know several and they are not scary. Put you more in mind of what you might imagine a Quaker to look like.)
I think I have made up my mind. This year I will celebrate like the Kranks Krouses.