I'm so sick of people getting crazy about whether the word "Christmas" is being used enough by enough people that I thought I'd poke a little fun at the whole idiocy. A little something for all you Harry Potter fans. See the satirical gem that Scott posted about to get even more giggles over it. Truly a must read!

Christmas doesn't mean the same to everyone. To some it is a religious holiday, to some it is a celebration to bring families together, to some it is all about the decorations, to others it is about the joy that it brings the children, to some it doesn't mean anything - just another day.

I had a different view on Christmas. One that I am sure that others share with me. I posted about it last year, but that was back when my blog was just an infant and no one was actually reading this, so I decided that I would just repost it, a sort of blog regifting, if you will.

Bah, Humbug!
(Originally posted Monday, December 13, 2004)

Christmas has been one of my least favorite holidays for quite a few years (since early childhood really). It has come to symbolize inadequacy, disappointment, family feuds, ungratefulness, and sickening materialism. The calculations one must perform in order to get just the right kind of gifts for the right amount of people to avoid appearing to favor one loved one over another is way too complicated for a holiday that really is supposed to symbolize good will toward your fellow human being. This holiday has been the source of many a family brawl and has always lead to ill feelings in my family. Not to mention the stores during this time of year become battlegrounds where only the ruthless survive. Because of these reasons I went years without really celebrating it. Then one day I had a brilliant idea. Instead of getting gifts for people who already have everything that they need, why not get presents for those who don't? That made so much sense I couldn't believe that I had lived so long without thinking of it before. It perfectly fits the spirit of the season and it finally makes me feel good about Christmas again. I know that the people who get the gifts will appreciate them. It gives me a greater appreciation for what I have. No more returns and re-gifting (come on, we all do it!). I now look forward to Christmas; it has regained it's meaning for me. I think that all the people that have grown cynical of this holiday should try it. If enough people do it I feel the world can be a much better place to live. If you still feel that you need to get something for your family members, you can give them a card that says that a donation has been made in their name to whatever organization you decide to give your gifts to. I do Toys for Tots (there's just something about a bunch of tough Marines giving toys to needy kids that melts my heart) and I buy a cart full of groceries for the local food shelf. How can you not feel fantastic about that? People in need have a happier holiday and I get a high that last the whole season.


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Blogger sideshow bob said...

If the war on Christmas is as successful as the war on drugs or the war on terrorism, then Santa has nothing to worry about...

Really, can't we have a debate or disagreement without the Republicans turning it into a "war"?

December 18, 2005 10:07 PM

Blogger DrMax said...

Thinking of our fellow man on Christmas? That's just crazy talk Syl. You start a trend like that and what would happen to all those poor Wal-Marts?

December 19, 2005 7:11 AM

Blogger Shamus O'Drunkahan said...

I'm very humbug this year, to the point of errecting my own festivus pole. Glad to hear others are going thru the same frustrations with this season.

Oh, BTW, Merry Christmas!

December 19, 2005 7:24 AM

Blogger "AG" said...

I lol-ed at blog regifting.

I am with you on Christmas. Last year my husband and I handed out cards and gifts to the veterans at our local veterans home. You inspired me for my next post. Thank you.

December 19, 2005 7:47 AM

Blogger sands of time said...

I have for many years donated food hampers and toys to those who need them at christmas.Its so nice when you go and help with the distrubution of these hampers to see the look of joy on these peoples faces when they receive them.

December 19, 2005 8:08 AM

Blogger nope said...

I tried getting whoever picked our name in M's family for our gift to donate to a non-profit of our choice (that year it was the American Heart Association) and in return the person we got wanted donations to a women's shelter (that we still get junk mail from, believe it or not -!). That worked, one year. Now we just ignore the Gifting Hat and get a little gift for everybody in his family (like I made M do our first year together.) I don't care what we get in return, because to me Christmas is about giving.

Are there issues with the word "Christmas"? I don't know, I haven't paid any attention. (TIC). I still say "Merry Christmas" to my friends and clients and to hell with it. Christmas is Christmas, and that's that. At least all this politicking has made all of us think about what Christmas really means to each person.

I think the news we see about the shopping frenzy is a very small percentage of people, but it makes good news, doesn't it? Frickin' journalism, good for much of nothing.

December 19, 2005 9:15 AM

Blogger Sylvana said...

SSB, exactly! That's why it's so funny.

DrMax, with my plan, we would still spend the same amount of money that we would have at Christmas, it is just that the gifts go to people that actually need stuff.

Shamus, I had to refer to my All That Is Simpson and Seinfeld source for that reference (that would be SSB).

And Merry Festivus!!

AG, thanks yourself! That sounds like a lovely thing to do for the holidays.

Pink Lady, we don't even get to see the gifts handed out. We give anonymously too. But it still feels really good.

Indiaiynke, TIC? Not familiar with that.

The craziness in the stores is very widespread. It is especially horrible in the Twin Cities. I remember shopping there: getting rammed by carts, snarled at by the other shoppers, having things taken right out of my cart, nearly getting run over because I was between someone and a parking space, all the budging in lines. And it was way worse during the HOLIDAYS!

December 19, 2005 12:15 PM

Blogger nope said...

TIC = tongue in cheek.

December 19, 2005 12:29 PM

Blogger Courtney said...

I am with you on the giving to those who need it more. This year, my immediate family is doing just that. We are taking the money we would normally spend on one another an each person is giving it to the charity(ies) of their choice.

We're fortunate enough to have the means to get anything we really want (and need) during the year, so why the pageantry of exchanging gifts on Christmas?

Thanks for reposting your thoughts from last year. They haven't expired.

December 19, 2005 1:17 PM

Blogger Wendy A said...

It has all gotten so crazy with all the expectations of gift giving when we all have so darn much. It is a chore and nothing more. I haven't sorted what to change yet. Glad you have found some meaning in it.

December 19, 2005 2:18 PM

Blogger Sylvana said...

Indiaiynke, bwaa! I even Googled it and didn't come up with anything except Tenant in Common. Believe me, I tried to make it work, too!

Courtney, exactly. I mean we're not wealthy, but we can buy most of what we need through the year, and the things that we can't afford, well I'm not going to ask for a new car for Christmas! So why not give to those who can't afford the things that they need?

Wendy A, my son was getting especially greedy around this time of year. That's what sparked the idea. We read him stories from our local paper of families in need, and talked about all the kids that weren't going to get ANYTHING for Christmas. Then we took him to the store and told him to pick out presents for those kids. He really liked the idea and has really stepped up to picking out thoughtful gifts. He gets one small gift, but everything else that we would have spent on him goes to buying the toys for Toys for Tots.

December 19, 2005 4:04 PM

Blogger Furlong said...

Talk like that will get Bill O'Reilly angry

December 19, 2005 7:40 PM

Blogger nope said...

Syl, I am so sorry to have caused you to go to all the trouble!!! LOL. And I want to compliment you on the fine and honourable way you and SSB are raising your child - that is SUCH a cool thing to show him about Christmas, and even cooler that he is learning to not only walk the walk but TALK the talk. So to speak.

December 19, 2005 8:27 PM

Blogger Sylvana said...

Furlong, everything pisses off O'Reilly! That seems to be his thing. ;)

Indiaiynke, no problem. I have an addiction to Google anyway and compulsively look for things to run through to see what comes up. It's even my homepage!
And thanks about our parenting. I feel that communication is the key to any relationship - even between parents and children.

December 19, 2005 8:45 PM