They’re playing non-stop Christmas music on the radio which is the universal indicator that the crazy portion of the holiday season has begun. I generally love the holidays, but I can’t stand the commercialistic beast that it’s become.
I don’t get it when I see news stories about people getting into fist fights over the last must-have toy for their kids, or people who line up on Thanksgiving afternoon to be first through the doors for the Black Friday sales. I try to have all my holiday shopping done before Thanksgiving so I can relax through December. If I shop on Black Friday, it’s for myself and for things I need, not moronic gadgets and gizmos that are only in stores 2 months a year. I try to avoid the crazies and the stupids as much as possible.
Speaking of gifts, I’m a huge fan of the gift list. I don’t shop for many people, but for those that I do, I like to get them things that they need or things they want and won’t buy for themselves. I prefer practical gifts, not stuff that’s going to end up on a shelf and collect dust. A lot of Christmas specials show that getting socks and underwear are the worst gifts a kid can get, but I’ve asked for underwear for Christmas before and I’ve given socks when they were requested.
Thanksgiving is coming up this week. I love my family’s Thanksgiving in Phoenix. First thing in the morning, a group of us go on a pre-Thanksgiving hike up one of the less popular mountains in our area. It’s a great park, with a big parking lot, and it’s not overly crowded with people or infested with bees.
In the afternoon, we gather at my aunt’s house. We prepare everything potluck style to keep one person from being overwhelmed. It’s very casual and relaxed. Nothing is forced and nothing is expected to be perfect – just good food and good company. We have a great mix of people with our extended family and a handful of Thanksgiving orphans. We try to keep things simple – and it works.
I’m looking forward to a mellow holiday season this year filled with friends, family, and amazing music. (I heart Christmas music – the good stuff like Trans-Siberian Orchestra.) I foresee a lot of laughter and joy in the next weeks.
If you happen to be one of the Christmas crazies, get away from me. I’m not buying into your program.