Simplify Christmas

Posted in Society at 17:55 by RjZ

I got something very special from my friends and family this year for the holidays. I gave them the same thing, so I wasn’t surprised. You see, Santa didn’t bring me anything at all. Nothing. (Well, I did get a jar of homemade mustard–thanks!) I didn’t buy, or even make a single thing for anyone either. Scrooge you say? Bah humbug? Perhaps. But what we exchanged this year was freedom; and I loved my gift! While most folks in the U.S. and elsewhere were running around wrinkling their brows thinking of the perfect give and fighting crowds or cyberspace to buy it, I was carefree and enjoying the cool winter nights around the fireplace.

There’s nothing wrong with trading gifts this time of year or for any reason at all, but the obligation that accompanies gift exchange, especially around the holidays contributes to so many people’s stress! It’s not like it would be fair for me to expect some gifts I’d really like for myself. If anyone really still wants to get me a new camera, this one will do, but I don’t really need, or want more stuff. I don’t want any new clothes, or book store gift certificates. I don’t want more stuff to clutter up my closet, my house, or my car! I am trying to simplify, not complexify.

Everybody likes getting the gift they didn’t even think of, and I am not an exception; I am not opposed to gifts as a rule, but really how many of the things we received this time of year fell into that category? (Hopefully a few!) Even with those wonderful surprises, the stories I heard were of charming things that people we’re happy to receive, partly, because of the fun of receiving gifts, of giving them, and above all the thought behind them. I’d be happy if people knew the deep breath of freedom that comes from skipping the game completely.

I hereby release you, dear friend, family member, acquaintance, of feeling obligated to get me anything at all. Next time you’re out some where and see that special thing that I didn’t even know I wanted, I hope you’ll remember we gave each other a pass this holiday. It’ll mean so much to me that you thought about me, even when there was actually no reason to do so, nothing to celebrate except our friendship. I can’t wait to do the same for you. If nothing comes along, I’m not likely to notice; it’s not like there was some holiday reminding me that you better think of me. As for Christmashanakwanza…let’s just give each other freedom.

1 Comment »

  1. tess said,

    January 5, 2008 at 21:04

    thanks for nothin!

    no really.

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