Saturday, December 13, 2008

holiday blues

Is it me, or does the holidays seem like a really bad idea this year. I'm suffering terribly from the Christmas season. I hate shopping. I hate it so much I don't actually do it anymore. The shops are filled with things I don't need and at prices I can't afford. And increasingly I do not want. With The Man's great experiment, I am starting to see the shop shelves as filled with items that are only six months away from the landfill. In addition, it's hard to ignore that we pay only a fraction of the cost of any particular consumable. The price is much higher than what the tag says. Things not calculated on the sales bill is the cost to the earth's resources (trees, ore, oil), the cost to the people and governments (procuring, protecting and fighting over resources), the cost to our health (pollution, toxic byproducts like dioxin), the cost to human lives (low paid labourers working in unsafe, unclean factories), and the cost to my time (seeking, working for money to buy, buying, hauling, cleaning, and finally disposing).

A handmade Christmas is a lovely idea, but, honestly, I'm not sure that it gets at the root of the problem here for me. I am making the gifts I am giving, and am pleased to be able to make them. Especially nice is actually thinking about the person the whole time I make the gift. But, Christmas is not about the gifts. And because I feel strongly about this, damnit, I'm going to say it again: Christmas is NOT about the gifts. We know this, we say this, but our actions tell a different story. How many times does a child get asked what they hope Santa will bring them for Christmas before they think that the presents are the actual point of the whole shebang? Why do we pace our lives according to shopping days 'til Christmas? Why does every person I meet during the month of December ask me if I have my shopping done yet?

Okay, enough rant. Those receiving gifts from me this year are going to looking at them sideways, wondering what kind of negative energy I've infused them with. Just know this, I want Christmas. I want the family, the visiting, the food (oh, yes, the food!), the decorations, even the Christmas jingles. But I do not want material gifts. I feel grateful for all I already have and to be a part of your lives. No more is needed.

I'm not just a total bummer lately. I've been soothing my Christmas Rage (I'm not the only one who has it) by noticing how thrilled our children are with the simple things. Watching the kids play with a cardboard box is more than a reminder, it's a blueprint for life around here. Here are a few pictures of some of the things we enjoy around here.
The cardboard box play house. Which, just to prove me wrong, actually does contain one of last year's Christmas presents to Smootch, which Birdie loves to chew on.

What? You never seen a baby in a box chewing on a donkey before?

Smootch learning to sew. Watching her brings a phenomenal feeling for me.

Can't. Stop. Eating. Homemade. Carmel. Popcorn.
And more arrived in the mail yesterday :0

Dancing, twirling, booty dances. I think that this perfect dance floor in our living room actually appeared magically for Smootch to dance on. I can't imagine who we would be without dancing together.

Staring into each other's eyes. How beautiful and wonderous these children are! So, please, don't give us a bunch of stuff to distract us from each other. The gifts are just a side attraction, spending time with friends and family is the main event. Let's not get sidetracked!

1 comment:

Heidi's Loft said...

Agreed. I am hooked on your blogs (and The Man's) now and look forward to more.