I'm sure I could eliminate all talk of numerous gifts if Santa would just bring a puppy, but I'm not there yet on the dog thing, so I'm gonna have to go it alone.
It seems that this year, more than ever, retailers are FREAKED OUT about where you're going to spend your money. I get it, I understand--last year was tough, and this year, somebody claimed that the American people have more money to spend, so, we're getting badgered left and right to buy heaping piles of stuff for Christmas, with all that extra dough we supposedly have, so we can rescue those retailers from last year's nastiness.
So, how are YOU doing? Feeling any richer? I do, a little, but that's because I gave myself a raise by switching jobs, while simultaneously cutting my commute in half. Doesn't mean the cable guy isn't wondering where this month's payment is (yeah, yeah...I got it...calm down...), but, it's coming around.
It's coming around just in time for many someones to try to coerce me into spending it all on unnecessary crap. And, like with the dog thing, I'm not quite there, yet. I just can't picture dropping the kind of cash that retailers seem to think I have. Who does this? Who puts themselves into serious debt at Christmas? Clearly, somebody must, or the people trying to sell us things wouldn't be trying so hard.
My children have been asking me what I want for Christmas, and I tell them that I don't know, which is not unusual for me--"I don't know" is my stock answer for anything relating to gifts that I would receive, because when I want a thing, I go out and get it myself.
Apparently, this is annoying to potential gift-givers.
Sorry, but I just think that asking for a specific thing, or shopping for a specific thing for someone because they asked for a specific thing...sucks. Sucks huge. It eliminates all thought, and makes it not about giving someone something because you thought of them, but because they wanted a certain thing, and heaven help you if you got something slightly different from that certain thing, because it's not the thing they wanted.
And this is what we have become. Freaked out and panicked about THINGS. We worry that if someone is going to buy us something, it will be dumb, and not the thing we want, and if we buy something for someone, we worry that they'll think it's dumb. Every time you buy anything, the store asks you if you want a gift receipt, assuming that anything anybody buys is not what the receiver wanted, and it will need to be returned or exchanged.
How screwed up is that? I mean, really....did you ever stop to think about that? You buy things under the assumption that it will need to be returned or exchanged...Why bother buying it? That's just stupid. I'm so ANTI "gift-receipt", I can't even talk about it without getting grouchy.
So I just want to warn everybody up front, as we head into December, that, even though I love you all, I'm probably not getting you what you want. Actually, I'm not even going to ask you what you want--how do you like that? I'm just giving everybody the same thing this year--an invitation. Because "stuff" needs dusting--experiences do not. Instead of buying some things, I would rather do some things--grab a meal with friends, at a place we've never been, or maybe someplace we all enjoy--either/or. Try out some new recipe on some unsuspecting recipient (food is always the best holiday gift, seriously--anything the other person doesn't have to prepare is all good). Or maybe take a thermos full of schnapps-laced cocoa to a parade, or skating, or...out to the back yard. Whatever.
And so this is Christmas...let's de-stress and have some fun out there! Decorate, and Celebrate!