It’s no secret to anyone who has been around me during the Holiday Season that I have issues with the excessive present-giving involved with American Christmas traditions, and it’s only getting worse as the years go on. Mostly because people get mad when I tell them that I don’t want anything. Don’t buy me stuff, I have enough stuff. I hate that people are offended when I suggest alternatives such as going out to dinner or just spending time together rather than exchanging presents. I hate that I seem to be the one to stop buying for others first, though it’s nice the next year when we don’t have to wonder if we’re exchanging presents with those people anymore. This year my family even decided not to do presents. FINALLY! We all go out and buy whatever we need; there is nothing that we are lacking in our lives that needs to be wrapped up an put under a tree.
(Note: I am not so naive to think that I actually believe that my mom is going through with this. I am fully aware that a box will arrive from my parents with presents in it. If it is a large box, I will be mad. Also, I did go out and buy little things for my brother and sister-in-law, and you really can’t expect that I am not going to buy fun things for my new niece. But, really, for my family, a toned down present-buying is a great first step.)
The In-Laws are getting into the act of less buying, too. Which is lovely, since I barely know most of the cousins and previously we were pulling names out of a hat (some years lucky, some years not so lucky). This year we will be doing some sort of fun little Yankee Swap type thing with $10-20 random presents. I’m kind of excited to see how it goes. Especially since I don’t want to have to be the Evil Mom next year who tells everyone that her kid doesn’t need any more toys.
The biggest issue of all is, I wish that everyone would just stop worrying about presents. Christmas shouldn’t be about presents, in my opinion. I wish that it was like Thanksgiving, but with a ham and a pretty tree and some carols. Is that really too much to ask?