Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Every year about this time I get to wondering how to explain the sort of celebration I observe come the 25th of December. I do like to give and get presents on Christmas, but I am not christian and don't think of the holiday as a religious celebration. I like the crazy shopping. I like the wrapping. I like the decorations. I have a Christmas tree. It is purple with white lights and is decorated with snowpeople and snowflakes. But, I don't like to say I celebrate Christmas. I celebrate Giftmas.

I don't like the nasty required gift giving that may come with the holiday, those gifts to people you barely know just because you can't go empty-handed to a gathering of more than two at this time of year. I don't like buying gifts for people who expect something perfect. I don't like buying gifts for office parties. But, I do like buying gifts for family and friends. I usually have no trouble at all finding gifts I want to give. And that's how I shop for gifts. I think of what would make me happy to give a particular person and it usually results in the recipient getting something that makes them very happy. Although, I have to say, it hasn't been quite the case with G. I don't have a great track rating with giving him gifts that work, though I am getting better.

Anyway, this year, because I am unemployed, I am not observing Giftmas. Instead, my daughters and I will take a road trip next spring, out to Ohio to ride coasters and maybe to Hershey, PA, to ride coasters and eat bad chocolate. I would love to buy Greg something wonderful, but I can't. Once I am employed, there will be gifts, though. I know just what to get him, and this time I am not going to be wrong. Christmas weekend we will go to visit his parents in West Virginia. They aren't so into the holiday, so any gift giving will be limited to books and bags of good coffee. But, I did go up north, to New York, last month for a family gathering where we celebrated every end of the year birthday (there are lots) and a sort of Giftmas.

We had agreed that there were to be no gift exchanges between adults. Just the kids would get gifts. There are three boys, my nephews, ages 9, 10 and 11. I spent the $150 worth of Borders Rewards money (one good reason to quit working at Borders... I spent too much money there!) and my last monthly employee $30 gift card on the boys. They didn't get as much from me as in the past, but I find some good buys and I am sure they are happy with what they got. The rest of my family went nuts. It was a gift orgy. We did make the boys open presents one at a time, and made sure they acknowledged the gifter, but even so, it was a crazy scene, which I can't really capture with this image, but I don't like to have photos of people other than myself on my blog.

I don't really like the gift orgy thing so much. I would have preferred something a little less frantic, but I guess with three boys that young, frantic can't be avoided. I don't know what we will do next year, but I kind of hope there won't be any gifts at all. I'd rather do something like take a family holiday somewhere warm, or go to a show in the NYC and stay at a nice hotel. We can send gifts to the boys to open when they open all their other presents. When frantic happens and I am not in the room to observe it, then it really hasn't happened.

No comments: