Don’t get me wrong. I am all about celebrating J.C. and Mary’s unprecedented pregnancy. (But hold on for a hot second. Mary has a baby without actually having sex? I really should have paid more attention during those monotonous hours of CCD classes in elementary school.) I completely respect the religious aspect of the holiday, as well as the celebrations of Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, but the shopping season involved with these holidays drive me crazy.
I feel as though we have completely lost the true meaning behind these days and have become entitled and spoiled. I am sure not everyone is like this and I know plenty of people who are genuinely grateful for everything they have in their lives. But, it is discouraging to see so many Christmas advertisements for toys and material possessions the day after Halloween. And in general, I love this time of the year for the spirited music, the yummy treats and the hypnotic decorations, but sometimes, we go a little overboard.
I think the holiday season has become too commercial for me (and this includes other holidays like Valentine’s Day, which has to be one, large monster created by Hallmark and Sandra Bullock). Do not get me started on ABC Family and their “25 Days of Christmas,” which seems more like “50 Days of Christmas” based on the way they have approached the holiday this year.
I am not an overtly religious person. I am confirmed by the Catholic Church, which is a choice I made that both of my sisters rejected, but I do not exactly practice Catholicism. We are the family that shows up to church once a year on Christmas Eve, gets communion and proceeds to hustle out of the church doors, so we can order Chinese food for dinner and then open a few presents. Yeah, it sounds like a horrendous storyline in a very special episode of some ABC sitcom from the ’90s, but that is my family. I would be embarrassed, but we have been doing that since I was a toddler, so I am used to booking it out of church after our annual visit is over.
My family is guilty for buying into the holiday hype and Black Friday shopping bonanza the day after Thanksgiving. Personally, I find it excessive when Mom calls me in September asking for my Christmas list. Really? Really?! However, I will give my mother credit. This is the first time in 25 years that she decided to avoid the day of horror and not wake up at an obscene hour of the morning to go shopping. I guess she took the hint this year when I handed her my Christmas list with nothing on it.
Admittedly, I contribute to the shopping madness when I purchase gifts for friends and family, but now that I am older, there is nothing else I really want with the exception of a few, inexpensive choice items. Not that I am judging anyone who actually has a list with large, expensive gifts on it, either. I am just perfectly content being with my family on Christmas day and watching my nana slowly get drunk off the white wine. Chug-a-lug! Chug-a-lug! Now that’s the spirit!
So, what is on my grown-up Christmas list? It is nothing that can be purchased at a store or found underneath the tree or in a stocking over the fireplace. What I truly want comes with time and patience. Nothing is a guarantee, but that makes the unpredictability of life so utterly entertaining.