I have a confession to make; I’m having a love/hate relationship with Christmas.
Christmas is a beautiful time, I enjoy the cold, the smell of homes that have Christmas trees, baking, the food, time with loved ones, but it is starting to feel forced. Then of course there’s the spending of money to buy things for people that most of them (including us) have no need for. I’m guilty of that too. I want things I don’t need, thinking that stuff will make me a more complete person, creating some sort of fulfillment. Its funny, I have so much stuff, but only use a small percentage of my things. I have a large DVD collection but rarely watch my movies. I have 15+ pairs of pants, but consistently stick to wearing three of my favorite pairs. I have five guitars and always stick to playing two of them.
Yes I’m feeling stressed out. I’m spending money I simply do not have. I want to buy and give gifts to my family and friends, but I already buy gifts for them throughout the year. Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, going-away parties, graduations, holidays (I have a BIG family on both sides); when and where does it end? No one I know is struggling in their lives because they lack certain items.
Same at the work place; where gift exchanges have become the norm. What else can be done to show people that you appreciate them instead of buying gifts all the time? Then we have the Adopt-A-Family program where low-income families sign-up to request Christmas gifts through donations. Kids are asking for Playstations, iPods, iPads, and things that cost hundreds of dollars and are not crucial to their well being in life. Yea maybe I sound like a heartless jerk, but why aren’t we teaching kids other priorities? I don’t know, fortunately, I have not been in that position where I need to request gifts from strangers, but I would not and could not ask to be included in a program where I ask for gifts for things I don’t need. Since when has Christmas been about getting? Since when has Christmas been about spending tons of money? Some may say it’s the spirit of Christmas. I can’t believe the spirit of Christmas was about giving people material items. It’s about spending time with loved ones and giving gifts from the heart, not the wallet. Who knows, maybe if my financial situation was different I would be speaking different, but I doubt it.
Christmas has also become a stressful day trying to share time with as many people as we can. And let me tell you, it feels like there is no time to rest, driving to different homes, doing our best to give time to all. I requested with some members of my family if we could celebrate Christmas on a different day, to limit the rush, but they weren’t having it. I guess if it’s not on Christmas day, it’s not the same (?).
Now being a father of a three year old, I would prefer to spend my money on gifts for him. I am definitely looking forward to see his face when he opens the gifts that my wife and I got him. Making him happy is such a pleasure to me. But I’m sure as a three year old having many gifts can get overwhelming. He still has gifts from his birthday that he hasn’t even played with. One of my goals for him is to get him to appreciate what he has, not what he doesn’t. Can be very difficult to achieve, especially in our culture, but it is a goal and trait worth having.
Think of me what you will, this is my opinion, and I mean no harm to anyone. I love Christmas, but starting to despise the spending of money and stress that comes with it. I’m sure most of us would agree Christmas is not what it was celebrated for in the first place and as the years go buy its more for business than celebration.
Well, I needed to vent, now I feel a little bit better. ☺
I wish you a Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.