December Daily 3: The One Where I Complain

So maybe the December Daily isn’t the best project for me. For one, my day-to-day life isn’t nearly interesting enough to document. I work from home, need I say more? Also, with everything else I’ve got piled up around here, it’s one more thing “to do.”
Which brings me to today’s reflection. When did the holidays turn into one giant chore list?
Somewhere between my adolescence and adulthood, the holiday season went from bringing pure joy to bringing a mixture of some joy and pure stress. I mean, you know you’re in trouble when you have to write a list of all the lists you still have to write.
And yes, it really says “check it twice” next to the gift list because I always unintentionally leave a name off my list the first time.
I know that if I started the holiday insanity before December rolled around, I would reduce my stress level. But I also blame societal expectations. I understand that people like to give gifts because I do, too. At the risk of sounding like a Scrooge or “one of those liberals,” though, I have to admit that my social consciousness flares up when I think of all the money our family collectively spends on us at the holidays. As many things as Hubby and I decide we “want” for the holidays, the truth is, we don’t need any of it. I would love to convince our family that instead of buying gifts for everyone (kids excluded, of course), we should take that money and donate it to a different charity every year. Think of the great lesson we would be teaching our kids as we all nominate charities and discuss why we should help them. And if the idea of not giving a tangible gift is too foreign, then maybe we could at least agree to have a handmade-only holiday. A mix-CD of my FIL’s favorite Christmas music is much more meaningful than any store-bought item he can find. And nothing can top the cookies that my niece and nephew make with their mom.
I guess what I’m trying to say (none-too-eloquently) is that as I get older and I think about the values I want to pass down to my imaginary kids, I don’t want to lose the true meaning of the holidays amidst all the consumerism.
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5 thoughts on “December Daily 3: The One Where I Complain

  1. Priceless! I have all these lists, plus more too!
    We've decided to minimize our splurging on our boys this year and keep things simple and homemade for the adults πŸ˜‰
    Last year, when 5yo kept asking evreryone “What did ya bring me?” We knew that we had failed in what the true meaning of Christmas is… this year, we're on the right track πŸ˜‰ and almost 6yo and lil bro have learned who “The Christmas Baby” is and why we're donating all our old clothes, toys and food! The look in their eyes is priceless πŸ™‚
    TFS!!! Happy Holidays :*)

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  2. You are preaching to the choir, sister. I love my in-laws, but they are THE WORST at going overboard at the holidays – and every other time of the year, for that matter. I hate that it is introducing such materialistic expectations to my children. That's touchy, too, because…how do you politely say, “Please don't give my kids so much stuff? You're turning them into brats.” ???
    I am with you 100% on this post. For reals.

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  3. We decided a few years back that we would limit gift giving to $10 per person for those outside the immediately family, a handful of gifts for the kids, and nothing to the two of us (me and hubby). We do lots of family stuff — like inviting the nephews over to build gingerbread houses and going to see The Nutcracker with my mom and sisters.

    In lieu of a gift to each other, we donate “Christmas” to a family through our local Boys & Girls Club. It's so much more gratifying than sitting around opening yet another something we don't need or that the kids will discard in 10 mins.

    The first year was tough, the second year was easier and this year we're all really relaxed and enjoying our new traditions. I highly recommend it!

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  4. I hear ya! I don't view your post as complaining either – just voicing your opinion! And one that needs to be expressed by more people more often. My kids get way too much! We plan on cutting back a lot this year.

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  5. LOL-well said. I have lists for my lists lists lol and they just keep coming!

    I start list making in September in hopes to get ahead and here I am, 17 days before Christmas creating yet another list just reminding myself how backed up I am lol.

    Ahhhh…happy holidays πŸ™‚

    xoxo

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