Another Thanksgiving down, and another three to five meals made with leftover turkey left to go. Turkey Tetrazzini, anyone? What? No takers? I can’t imagine why not! 😉
Now that the day of thanksgiving has passed, it seems as if nearly everyone is talking about the day of gift-giving. Airwaves and newspaper inserts have touted and shouted Black Friday sales. Cyber Monday deals have clogged the bandwidth. Everywhere I go, I hear conversations about great deals and where I can find the biggest and best for less. While deep discounts make some people drool, it just plain depresses me. Which is why, sadly, Christmas is NOT my favorite holiday.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I believe in celebrating the reason for the season. Singing carols? Count me in. My favorite songs are Angels We Have Heard on High; Ave Maria; Cherry Tree Carol; Do Your Hear What I Hear?; Go Tell It on the Mountain; God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman; Hallelujah; I Saw Three Ships; Il Est Né, Le Divin Enfant; Mary, Did You Know?, O, Holy Night; and O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. (Excuse me while I sing a stanza or two or three….)
Christmas Eve candlelight service at my spouse’s childhood church? As if I would miss that! Glittering lights reflecting off glass ornaments and snowflakes slowly swirling outside? Give me these serene sights any day. The smell of gingerbread and sugar cookies wafting through the air? Those scents makes me salivate like Pavlov’s puppies.
So, as you can see, I really am NOT one of those bah-humbug types. (Although, at times, I have been known channel my inner Grinch.) Sometimes, I really do wish I could be a rah-rah-sis-boom-bah Christmas cheerleader—Okay, maybe that is pushing it a little too far…
So, how do I combat capitalism and focus, instead, on the spirit of the season? First, I am going to implement an idea conceived by a coworker’s family: the three-gift limit. No one receives more than three presents. Why? Well, if three gifts were good enough for the Baby Jesus, then it is darn-well good enough for me and mine.
Speaking of ingenious ideas: I just read that a fellow blogger (who also is not a huge fan of Christmas) celebrated Advent last year, focusing on a Bible verse each day from December 1-24. In addition to the verse, she included either a family-friendly activity or small gift. What a great idea!
I might do something like this for my own family. Although, instead of Advent, I think I will commemorate the time between Christmas Day and Epiphany—a.k.a. the twelve days of Christmas. Granted, I will not be presenting partridges in pear trees—(Seriously, who does that?), but I think I can swing a family movie night or a sweet treat.
And I’m sorry, but I will not be hocking kidneys on Ebay to pay for presents. I will remain true to my mantra: Spend within my means, and just say no to credit cards. If I cannot afford it, it is not worth it. Why not give a gift from the heart instead? Homemade gifts, like a child’s pinch pot or a handmade card, mean much more to me than the latest, greatest gadget. Freshly baked goods are also always welcomed, even if my belly and backside could do without.
Elf on the Shelf… not in my household. Those pesky little pranksters are banned from these premises. How can I teach my kids the true meaning of the holidays if that darn elf is running about making messes and wrecking havoc. Sorry, Santa, but keep those tricksters far, far from my family! Kinda defeats the purpose of teaching children to be good for goodness’ sake when your own minions are running amok, wouldn’t you agree, Saint Nick? (Not to mention, those elves creep me out a bit, as do clowns, but that is another post altogether….)
So now that I have decided to cull much of the commercialism from my holiday celebrations, I am hopeful that I will be able to embrace Christmas with my whole heart and open arms… just like the Grinch…