Holiday curiosity.

Guys, I’m tired of Christmas.

Okay no. That’s not quite it.

I love Christmas. I love the lights, the decorations, the music, the snow (I live in Northern Canada, we have really lovely snowfalls), the seasonal beverage choices, the togetherness with friends and family, and the food (oh the food. Baking. It is all about the baking).

I am so thrilled to say that I have my Christmas mojo back this year. For the first Christmas in the last three, I am super excited for the season and everything it means and carries with it.

What I do not love and am growing increasingly more uncomfortable with is buying things for people who really don’t need anything and receiving things when I am a person who also doesn’t really need anything. I know how many people struggle to be warm and find enough to quell gnawing hunger this time of year and it’s stifling and humbling.

It could be all of that “white privilege” and “first world problem” noise, or it could be the fact that I’m not ten anymore. Don’t get me wrong folks, I do enjoy gifts, giving and receiving them (110% giving more than receiving), I’m just more aware of and more interested in giving back. I have a lot, I’m comfortable, and I really love my life. I have a lot to share and I feel strongly that it’s time I did that.

So in a really long-winded way (because obviously. That’s what I do), I’m wondering if any of you have dealt with this before. What I’d like to do is tally my holiday gift expenses and start donating most of it. There are still people I will buy gifts for, but mostly they will be children. Otherwise I’m more interested in gifting baking and time.

Have you made a holiday shift and started donating time, money, services, groceries, toys, etc. to people who need it more than you do? If so, how is it going? Did you come up against any animosity? If so, how did you deal with it?

Thank you, folks. As ever, I appreciate you! I hope you and yours are having a wonderful season, however that looks for you.

The Piano Guys – Carol of the Bells

UNT.

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11 thoughts on “Holiday curiosity.

  1. Since we’ve talked about it, I am 100% sure that I will be donating my time and money next year instead of buying people gifts. I just feel SO MUCH BETTER about doing that instead of buying people crap they don’t need!

    • Yes. I so meant to get my shit together and get more baking and crafty-things done this year. Then December happened, so I defaulted and spent all the monies. /Facepalm. The nice thing is that it settles more uncomfortably every year, so it’s about to come to a head. This is it. NO MORE. šŸ˜€

  2. I’ve never really done the gifts thing. I’ve just never really gotten into that aspect of the holidays. I just treat it as any other days of the year. I do feel a little funny about this now that I have a child, but as each year goes by (this is his 3rd holiday season) I feel both more and more sure it’s the right thing for us and at the same time I sense more pressure around me each year to make his holiday look a certain way. Now this whole Santa thing I have NO idea how to handle…

    • Okay. I KNOW that it’s my dude’s third Christmas too, but that made me “SERIOUSLY!? How did that happen!?” Also, HI! ā¤ I miss you lady, we need to catch up! I hope things are wonderful. šŸ™‚

      On point: good point and good idea. I like that you don't treat Dec 25th differently. Do you do any holiday things (decorating/baking/crafts/etc.)? I can see where it starts to get a little worrisome too. But, there are a lot of people who don't celebrate this particular holiday season. You're in awesome company. šŸ™‚

  3. Cristina says:

    Christmas stresses me out; the mall is always crowded, the parking lots are terrible, you have to find the “perfect gift” for someone who already has everything already. I just don’t like it. There are also high expectations in terms of family time and togetherness and you know I’m not that into my family, lol. When we started having kids, it turned into buying for the kids only, which was nice because now I’m not getting useless crap that was bought to fill a dollar amount. But now I have 2 kids and the toys are taking over the house and it’s getting to be a little much.

    My SIL Nat suggested this year that we sponsor a local family. The money goes towards food and presents for the family. I don’t actually know how that works since I am not the one taking care of it. I personally find it a relief that I don’t have to go through the stress of shopping for the nieces this year.

    TL;DR: Sponsor someone else’s Christmas

    • YES! We’re sponsoring a big(ger) family in the office this year (and one at daycare, actually) and it’s super exciting to me. I LOVE that. And yes “sponsor someone else’s Christmas.” Love that.

      Paring down to just your family is a good idea. I won’t stop buying things for The Man and The Boy, but it’ll come down dramatically. I love that idea I’ve seen on Pinterest: something you need, something you want, and something to read. Or something like that. THAT makes sense to me. šŸ™‚ Everything else is just super overwhelming.

      • Cristina says:

        I love the idea of giving to someone else who will appreciate it more than us and also the fact that now my kids won’t be coming home with more toys and clothes and all that other jazz. I like the idea of starting a Christmas Eve tradition of movie night too…kids get new jammies and a movie or something and then we watch a movie before bed. I’ve seen the Pin that you’re talking about too and I like that. I just don’t think my boys actually *need* anything right now. And my oldest *wants* everything. Even toys from McD’s gets him going, so that’s nice. And to read…well…they get new books all the time too. I need to stop buying them stuff all the time. >_<

  4. Great post – and thank heavens that suicide one is no longer at the top page!! I love giving gifts and cards. Although living abroad prevents me from sending expensive gifts (my 50+ Christmas cards alone cost over 150 USD to buy and post) I make a LOT of use of Amazon for sending gifts to family (my gift list is short – basically: Dom, his kids, his dad, his sisters, my mum, an aunt, and a cousin). Gifts for friends do happen but I try and spread them out of over the year so I can do that “I saw this and thought of you” thing when it is appropriate / affordable. I also give to charity but that is a whole other thing, I don’t see it as an either / or.

    • Hah! The suicide one is important to me. But yes, it is nice to have something a little more pleasant (and, let’s face it, fluffy) up higher.

      You’re not wrong. It doesn’t have to be an either/or situation. Honestly? I think I would like to pitch the “draw a name” gift exchange idea for the adults in my families. It’s the adults that drive me mental. Christmas is for everyone, but the gift frenzy, in MY life/brain is for kids and I’m way more excited about them losing their shit than adults who need sweet fuck all (unless they do NEED things, and then I’m thrilled to help them with that. I love giving things to people who need them).

      I also love the “I saw this and thought of you” random gifts. Those mean a lot to me. Oh and holiday cards. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh holiday cards. It costs a lot here now, too. Even domestic, it’s almost a dollar for a stamp now. It’s disheartening. I love sending mail, but I feel really restricted now. I REALLY appreciate your card, though. It made me smile. (I’m so far behind on every bit of correspondence that means something, these days. The holidays actually really slowed me down. Not super relaxing – I’m happy to be back at work…because I make 30min of time before my shift starts. HERE I AM!)

      ā¤

    • Oh. That made me teary (thank goodness I have an office and our department isn’t open yet – there will be a lot of students here soon). That. EXACTLY that. That is what *I* want for Christmas/birthdays/whatever.

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