Ok, so I am not exactly boycotting it, but I am not getting all heavy into it this year. I am not falling into the commercialization anymore. I never really thought of Christmas as a commercial holiday, but somehow it became one out of entitlement. Someone buys you a gift and you are obligated to buy one back for them and it grows and grows. I don't think this is at all what this holiday is supposed to be about.
Without going into a religious topic here, since I tend to keep my personal beliefs to myself, but this holiday is to celebrate the birth of our lord and savior Jesus Christ. Now, believe that or not, thats fine. Personal decisions and all of that...but I do believe that and I do not understand how that became "buy everyone you know lots of gifts". The tradition comes from the wise men who brought gifts to the baby Jesus and we keep that tradition up this very day. That is all well and good, but the obligation needs to stop.
I do not see the point in buying my sister a gift card only to have her buy me a gift card of the same value for another store. why bother? The stores are the ones who really benefit from this token gesture in the form of a guaranteed sale. Don't get me wrong, I am not a Grinch. I love Christmas and what it truly stands for. But let's be honest, Christmas is a childrens holiday. I have no problem buying gifts for kids and keeping the holidays magical and fun. But for those of us who grew up, it is just all false idolatry to the almighty dollar. Not "idol" in a Godlike way, but in a shift of priorities. I am not doing it anymore.
Similar to the way that I don't want gifts to celebrate my birthday (and arbitrary day if there ever was one) I don't want gifts out of obligation. If you want to buy me a gift, do it because you think of me or care about me and thought it would be a nice thing that has no relevance to a date. I buy gifts for people all the time. Why should I wait to give them at Christmas or some particular day? I will give them when I think of that person and buy the gift for them. Personally, if someone gave me a small gift or a card on some strange Wednesday for no reason at all other than that they simply cared about me, that would mean far more to me than if someone bought me a brand new car on Christmas. I can buy a new car myself. You cannot buy caring and love.
So that being said, I only bought a few small practical gifts for my new baby niece. I made arrangements with my family to not do the gift exchange mockery this this. I do have a few small things for people, but not out of obligation, but because I care. They are small, cheap things that I picked up on my travels and I don't count that is going out of my way to get gifts.
No matter what your feeling are on gift-giving, please let me wish you all a happy holiday. I still love the holiday and the intent behind it, so don't misinterpret that. I will be out of town for the rest of the year visiting my family. Hopefully, I make it back alive. I am going to start 2010 strong and refocused and hopefully it treats me a whole lot better than 2009 did.