I don’t know about you, but all this Happy Holiday stuff gets me more stressed out than a mound of paperwork that I know I won’t get through until Easter. (Man, I wish I had one of those!) Tacked onto the end of a month that was already way to full of Things I Have To Do, Christmas this year just feels like one more hectic due date approaching way too quickly.
This season means different things to different people. For the spiritual lot, it is a time of celebration and remembrance, whether they recognize Christmas, Hanukkah, or the Winter Solstice. For others, it is a time lacking in official significance, during which they must face endless lines at shopping centres and an over-abundance of chocolate coated goodies in the office break room. For many, though, any religious aspect takes a back seat to the mad dash for the best store sales and the most impressive/thoughtful/considerate present for each of the two or thirty special someones in their lives. It’s not surprising that it can get exhausting.
In my case, some combination of all three is true. I keep intending to do up the “return of daylight hours” in true Earth Mother style, but dude – it’s cold out. So I don’t really follow any serious religious celebration, nor do I do much Mall Shopping for my preparation, so I definitely get annoyed by the ceaseless flow of people everywhere I want to walk. (The fact that I’m a wanna-be hermit doesn’t help in this case, either.) And even though neither money nor too many recipients is the problem, I am feeling quite antsy about the whole present presenting adventure this year.
I feel, and I know I’m not alone, that the “true meaning” of the season (in my case, family and yummy baked goods) gets rather overlooked by the inevitable “me me me” that cycles through many a mind as the much anticipated moment of gift opening approaches. My family has never been one for the outrageous expenditure of Christmas. We never got laptops or hot vacations or entirely new, brand name wardrobes. Over the past few years, I’ve had such difficulty in thinking of things to ask for, in fact, that I’ve considered telling my parents to donate to charity. As much as this act of the blatant do-goodiness would make me all warm and fuzzy inside, I inevitably think of things in the nick of time. Things like a microwave that I buy myself and get reimbursed for. There goes Surprise and the widely celebrated tradition of useless gifts.
So why is this time of year fraying my tender nerves, when I just debunked all the usual reasons? Quite simply, I left things too long. Even though cost doesn’t really factor into my gifts, I do like to be thoughtful, and decided I was going to go pretty much 100% homemade this year. Well, that’s all fine and dandy if you actually begin to prepare your gifts more than two weeks before the 25th. But like I said, things got nuts. I had a performance at my mom’s hometown Santa Claus Day supper, an audition for my acting troupe’s production of Much Ado About Nothing, a funeral of sorts that required a whole weekend, and six volunteer gift wrapping shifts at the Mall. That, on top of work and the fact that most of the goods for my gifts had to be picked up from places not exactly close to my house, resulted in a bit of hair-pulling, come the 19th of December.
So what is my point in all this? I guess I don’t really have one. I’m not putting down people who spend tons of money on Christmas presents, nor am I saying it’s less meaningful if you do. I guess this could be a warning to those considering going Handmade for 2013 – start in September! I imagine I also felt a bit guilty for not posting anything for a month. I’ll use the same excuse as I have for feeling stressed – I’m not bubbling over with originality tonight (which is just great, since I should really be making creative, original gifts…)
So whatever your plans, have a safe and happy winter-time holiday and regardless of your gifting strategies, be sure to have fun and spend time with the people (human or otherwise!) that you love.
For your viewing pleasure, one of my homemade gifts.
My boyfriend and I had talked about how nice it would
|be to curl up in front of a warm,
crackling blaze this winter, but alas, no fireplace.
Guess I fixed that!