Bah, humbug. Those words have been echoing in my head for the last couple of weeks as I watch people scurrying to purchase gifts. I am usually not this cynical about Christmas but the commercialism is starting to get to me. It seems that every year, people want more and more for Christmas. Everyone is spending and spending to put more and more presents beneath the tree. When is enough ENOUGH?
I looked up the word “gift” which is defined as “a thing willingly given to someone without payment.” Willingly…Hmmm. Okay, yes I gave my parents a computer (pricey) but they didn’t have one and I thought it was a nice gesture. I read on a web page a particular sentiment that I thought was appropriate. It said “The ultimate reason for giving a gift (is) an expression of kindness.” Are we giving all these gifts as acts of kindness or are we succumbing to the commercialism of buying? I also saw a word on another website that I absolutely fell in love with: Want-arrhea. It seems that kids are the biggest sufferers of this ailment. “I want.” I have always told my son, when he is looking at that box of underwear given to him from an old-maid great aunt, that it is called a gift for a reason; it’s the act and not the gift. Just be glad that you are being remembered.
My sister and I discussed this very thing the other day and we both came to the same conclusion. In years before, we always set monetary amounts on the gifts. This year we both looked at each and said, “Why bother?” All we are doing is exchanging money (if you really look at it – the gifts cost the same and it’s kind of pointless). It also takes the pressure off of trying to find something for someone who has just about everything anyway. I am not saying we aren’t still buying something for the “children” (who are all in their twenties) but as for us old-timers, we aren’t buying each other gifts this year. It took a while to put the brakes on the buying but that is what we have done.
In my mind, the best gift is one that someone made for me: cookies, cakes, hand-made scarves – things that mean something to me because it was made FOR ME. I am doing that this year and I am sure that some will look at it and say “Uh, thanks…” But I actually took my time and my thoughts to make a special thing for that person that no one else will have. I think that is the true meaning of Christmas: You give of yourself.
And, my favorite part of the Season is when we all get together and eat a meal that is prepared with love. The food is made so much better because we want to do this to celebrate. I look forward to Christmas Day when we all gather together to enjoy ourselves and the “gifts” that we have been granted – each other.
Do you have an opinion on “Want-arrhea”? Do you think gift giving has gotten way out of hand? Tell me I am Scrooge if you want to. I just want a simpler Christmas this year. Or you can tell me how you celebrate. Do you enjoy the gift hunt and that hunt makes the Season for you? What do you enjoy about Christmas?