Monday, November 16, 2009

A Bah Humbug

I have major issues with Christmas this year. Mainly the gift-giving part. Either my husband is rubbing off on me or I am turning into my mother, but I think Christmas turns into this little game of having to make sure you get gifts for all these people because they might or will give you gifts. I have to think (I have done no research) that gift giving actually started with someone who just wanted to show another person that they cared about them. So this person got someone a special, tiny gift to say, "Merry Christmas" and don't forget what Christmas actually is about.

Now, it is this ridiculous game. Making sure you get your coworkers and bosses something, then your family, and maybe some friends. But your family grows so large that there is no possible way to get gifts for everyone and it ends up stressing you out so much that you just get somebody something and don't even care if they like it, just so you can be done with the shopping. THEN, you sit at home two weeks later and wonder why you didn't receive a thank you note and complain that you got them something at all.

So in actuality, the gift giving was all about YOU and not about THEM. Hmmm. Doesn't sound very "Christmas-like" to me.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love opening presents on Christmas Day and I love buying a gift for people that I love. I would give up all sorts of stuff to buy all the people I love exactly what they want or need for Christmas. But I feel like we (in general, not specifically) have taken it too far and make it about ourselves.

For instance, if you are hoping your gift is the best one the person receives that year, you are thinking about yourself. If you are wondering if you spent the most on that person, you are thinking about yourself. If you are counting on a thank you note to congratulate yourself on the awesome gift buying, you are thinking about yourself.

Because, is Christmas really supposed to be about presents? Or you? (Side note: And should we really decorate for Christmas before Halloween?)

In my opinion, and I will probably enforce this with my children someday, we should make Christmas less about us and what we will get or give. Instead, make birthdays big and huge and special. Buy the big gifts and make it a big deal - that's a day for you. Christmas is not.

You're thinking I'm a regular bah humbug this year, huh? It's true that I am debating over whether to decorate the house for Christmas, but you may be surprised at how excited I am about getting some of my gift ideas this year for those people I love!

Perhaps I am just getting in the Christmas mode a little later this year.


rclabaugh3 said...

Scrooge... :)

Laura said...

you know my thoughts but to share with others too... we just had the women's christmas brunch at church. one suggestion i heard about gifts was to only give 3 to help kids refocus. 1. a need 2. a want 3. a surprise. jesus only got 3! now this wouldn't work in my family cause we're already spoiled. :) but i thought it was a great idea, esp in this economy. thankfully i've never felt that gifts overtook christmas at our house even though we got plenty. now justin and i have to talk about how much to spend because i love giving gifts and always want a bigger budget than is reasonable!
hope you catch the christmas spirit soon!! :)

Audrey said...

ok I am totally agreeing!! gift pressure is freaking ridiculous. if you're just giving to get then that's stupid, pointless etc; or out of guilt. Mitch and I haven't even given each other christmas since kids.. money is tight so why do it for the sake of doing it? we have b days anniversary and everything surrounding xmas anyway!! who do we exchange with?? Mitch's parents. If I see my parents sometimes I do, sometimes I don't, sometimes if I find something I like that all girls would like I'll buy them for my sis in laws or what not, but I hate the EXCHANGE, why not just save yourself the money trade and buy yourself something you really want?? now once babies come into our family... we will totally get for little kids. so there, I go commenting long because I don't get a lot of adult interaction. ;)

Dr. and Mrs. Thomas said...

we're not buying anything for the boys (or girl for that matter) for a loooooong time. mostly because they are already SOO overloaded with gifts from other people that they would have no clue if we did or not. Plus, they dont' even get what a GIFT is anyways...sigh. Also, in my own very large, and growing family, we have chosen the last few years to draw names and leave it a surprise, then we only have ONE, instead of 15, people to buy for, and there is a spending limit agreed on for even more savings. Excellent. And luckliy Ry only has one bro...but his love language is totally gifts. =) As for the office/coworkers....SIGH. Chocolate. haha

ARC said...

I was going to get you a gift his year but you just made me change my mind

Shanle's said...

i have to admit, your post disappointed me! only because i'm a huge sucker for christmas!! it's in my blood... i LOVE decorating, buying gifts, listening to the music, etc.

i understand the point of your post and it is sad when selfishness ruins the joy of giving, the joy of christmas, and sharing Christ's birth. BUT, i LOVE the season... it's magical to me. i want to make it magical for my babies. ;)

don't be a "scrooge." get in the holiday spirit, my friend. and a good idea is always christmas cards or letters for friends and family... so you don't have to buy everyone a gift!! don't feel like you have to either. only for your loved ones if you choose.

i'll be checking in on you to make sure you DO -indeed- decorate this year!!

Laura said...

i also think it's sad when christmas is just about the kids (esp to the point where other family members can't come). this sends the wrong message for sure. it should be about the whole family and especially about Christ's birth! i love the feeling of excitment this time of year. i realize not everyone is excited about Jesus coming but it still feels that way! :)