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All I want for Christmas

Posted on Monday, December 20, 2010 in Advice, Happiness, Honesty, Kat, Relationships

Sara dragged me to the mall right before Thanksgiving because she needed to get a new cell phone. I was shocked that it had been transformed into a Winter Wonderland — red and green trimmings were everywhere, robotic reindeer “ate” who knows what while bobbing their heads in sparkling “snow,” and “fa la la la las” blasted from the speaker system.

“What’s going on?”

“Uh, it’s almost Christmas, Kat. It’s looked like this since Halloween. Where have you been?”

Obviously, thankfully, not at the mall.      

I’m not a Grinch or a Scrooge; in many ways, this is the “most wonderful time of the year.” I totally get into the decorating, the music, the parties. But I hate that I’m expected to think about my loved ones’ wants and desires — as well as caring about those less fortunate — once a year.

Shouldn’t we think about that all the time?

And it’s even worse that the way I’m supposed to show how much I care is by buying something — “Whatcha get?!?” Sure, The Kid was pretty darn happy when an XBox appeared under the tree one year; I’ll bet he would have been just as happy — maybe even happier — if it appeared one day in his room “just because.”

But he seems just as happy when we take a hike together or sit at our favorite little cafe sipping our lattes, when we’re truly present with each other (or is that a mother deluding herself?)

Everyone knows this crazy buying frenzy’s not what Christmas is really about, but that’s what it’s morphed into (because we’ve allowed it to); that’s kind of sad.

And a lot of what we actually get as gifts — a fake crystal candlestick; a made-in-China knitted glove, scarf and beanie set, etc. — isn’t really what we need or even want. It’s just more stuff, and we are drowning in our “stuff.” All you have to do is move or help someone move, and you’ll see how true that is. How many mugs does a person need?

Plus it’s often given out of obligation, not out of love: in what way does that feel good? Sometimes, the gifts we get make us feel even worse about our loved ones: “After all these years together, he still doesn’t know what I like!!!!”

This year especially, when so many of us are hurting financially, how wonderful would it be if we gave in a different way — like giving of ourselves, our time, our energy, our talents. Or maybe giving of our heart by opening up and being honest and genuine with each other.

You, my readers, have been a constant gift to me; I only hope I’ve added a little tinsel to your lives, too. Merry Christmas!

Photo © Melking –

Bring on the comments

  1. jim
    Twitter: mobilene

    Thanks, Kat!!

  2. Chopper Papa
    Twitter: chopperpapa

    The commercialism of this holiday takes so much of the joy of out it. I find it heard to even get in the spirit sometimes.

    Happy Holidays!

  3. T
    Twitter: tsquest

    Yes! Give presence this year! Love it.

    Oh and speaking of “stuff”, have you ever seen this:

    Merry Christmas!

  4. Steve says:

    Twitter: tsquest says:

    Oh and speaking of “stuff”, have you ever seen this:

    I have it and their other animations bookmarked in my youtube account.

  5. OMG, as I enter into the first Christmas with someone significant, I am struggling with what gift to give. I cringe that I’m considering giving him either a grill pan or a cologne set, as they seem so impersonal. A girlfriend told me all a guy really wants is a steak and a bj, and he’s already gotten both of those–not in that order. [sigh] so the quest continues…

  6. The Observer says:

    Merry Christmas, Kat & Kid. Give ’til it hurts seems a vast departure from what Christmas is really about. I’m hoping we, as a culture, can someday divide the commercial from the spiritual. Maybe not. Worth a try. This year my extended family is having a marathon board game competition, instead of exchanging gifts the winner gets to decide which charity we all chip in $25 to…with 10 of us, some worthwhile group (criteria = most good done for smallest “overhead” admin costs) gets $250 and we all don’t have to exchange or re-gift anything. Suck it Macy*s.

  7. boccebum says:

    I knowlonger look forward to the holydays,its all about BUY ME THIS_BUY ME THAT.What happened to a nice family DINNER AND GET TOGATHER with Fondu,Fire Place,Egg Nog,Candy Apples,Pop Corn,and Just Being Thankful for what you have and the LOVE you get from your Family and Friends?
    Marry Christmas.

  8. Janet says:

    Thanks Kat! Hope the season offers some peace and joy amidst the chaos.

  9. Henway says:

    I think giving gifts is essential when it comes to maintaining relationships with business partners, associates, or co-workers… but with friends/family, they won’t care if u dun give them a gift, ironically… just give them your time. But for other people, they’ll be pleasantly surprised if u give them a gift, so the ROI is higher ^_^

  10. Wombat
    Twitter: kissnblog

    This is probably TMI, but I have a banner of you on my bedroom wall, Kat, a la Farrah Fawcett circa 1980.

    In this way you make my day, EVERY day.

  11. This is probably TMI, but I have a banner of you on my bedroom wall, Kat, a la Farrah Fawcett circa 1980. In this way you make my day, EVERY day.

  12. Wombat
    Twitter: kissnblog

    So, Kat, now Latoya Bridges and I are confirmed fans. What does that mean, eh? Eh? Eh?

    * laughing *