Speaking of Christmas, (we were, weren't we?) Andy and I have made an unofficial decision to call Christmas off this year.
No, we haven't been isolated from community and popular culture for so long that we've become curmudgeons who will in no way acknowledge the holiday season. I fully plan to deck the halls, bake the cookies, play the carols, get together with friends and family, etc. etc. when the holiday season truly is upon us.
Despite my firm belief that Christmas is not imminent just yet, the holiday season and all its fuss and spending has been on my mind lately.
For one thing, I've been assigned the annual holiday gift guide for the publication I'm a contributing writer for. I spent some time with Mom in the shops downtown yesterday, trying to figure some new exciting spin to put on the same ol' items from the same ol' stores for this year's guide.For another thing, it's apparent that between tires, teeth and nonexistent internet (aka, technician visit!), discretionary spending funds are going to be pretty much nonexistent this December.
There's also the little fact that we don't really need anything. Sure, there are plenty of pretty, nonessential items I'd love to have, but when I look at my life objectively, it's clear we want for nothing. Our freezer and pantry are brimming with delicious, homegrown/homemade food; the closets are stuffed with clothes and footwear; we have two cars; plenty of firewood to keep us warm through the winter; we cover our monthly expenses; and there's enough money to cover the aforementioned expenses without too much strain or stress. So why make things stressful by feeling we have to go all out with presents this year?
Yes, I am the person who retailers hate and who is in no way stimulating our floundering economy.
Not that I won't be purchasing Christmas presents this year. But I'm approaching the gift giving this year as a way to share a small token of love and appreciation with the people I love rather than go through the sometimes stressful, sometimes frustrating process of trying to figure out larger (and more expensive) items for everyone on my list this year. Maybe we'll just do stocking stuffers for everyone this year. Maybe small themed baskets. I haven't decided yet, but I'm hoping for a simple, but sincere Christmas this year.
It seems like this year "presents" giving us a wonderful opportunity to focus on all we already have. Why let Christmas crowd out the autumn holiday we should really be stretching out over the entire year: Thanksgiving.
Have you ever called off Christmas? Will your Christmas spending this year stay the same as prior years or do you plan to cut or expand your budget?