Great post - I'm with you on a lot of it. I don't get much out of Christmas either, but I like the swirl of activity around it, while my wife could skip the whole thing without missing it. My wife and I are very big on thrift stores and we like to do our own little exchange but then we have all that family to consider. Mine adds the complication of mailing. To your point, it's telling that people have been complaining about the commercialization of the holidays longer than I've been alive.
My partner James & I decided early on that we wouldn't take Christmas too seriously; that we try to live EVERY day as the gifts they in fact are. We don't exchange gifts, per se. We do a bit of decorating and listen to Christmas music, and have a nice meal.This year as in last, we are staying home in The Woods and not visiting family. We have a nicer time that way!However you celebrate Christmas (or not) I wish you...what do they call it these daze? -- HAPPY HOLIDAYS.
"Christmas soon"? Yikes! I usually get down to serious Christmas shopping around Dec. 21.
The season starts early for me. Wife, mother, sister, and niece all have birthdays in October and November, then it's Thanksgiving, then Christmas. Even with my thrifty ways, most of my spending money goes out the window these three months.
I must agree, though I dislike the season for different reasons, that Christmas is my least favorite and anticipation is over-rated. Working on things, tinkering with them and bringing them back to life is my Zen, as is making something out of nothing. It brings me inner peace and joy and even a sense of empowerment. And I grow extremely attached to the object I've been able to restore with my own hands. It's something not everyone understands.Wonderful post, as usual!
Thanks, ARMS. I know what you mean. There is something empowering in reclaiming what otherwise would be lost. This is why I like doing it while watching a low-grade movie or doing something else that usually makes me feel uncomfortable--extracting what pleasure you can from cheap entertainment while restoring order to the universe. (Of course good music, or silence, are just as satisfying accompaniments.)Of course, not everyone understands it. A co worker, who is exactly my age, told me, "You're the oldest 36 year old I know.""What would make me seem younger?" I said."Well, you could stop collecting those typewriters."She meant it good-naturedly, and I took it as a compliment. But I still didn't go out to the club with her and the gang.
News from director Christopher Lockett: There is a screening of "The Typewriter (In the 21st Century)" at the Jack Kerouac Literary Festival in Lowell, MA on Tuesday, October 9 @7p, free, at Lowell National Historic Park Visitor Center. Details about the screening and the festival itself are here:http://lowellfilmcollaborative.org/
Well, now *this* is something worth anticipating. Have to see if I can't get a little time off...
My mother is really one for X-mas. She goes completely overboard with decorations and gifts...the whole lot. Our (extended) family get together is X-mas eve instead of the day itself. It is always a good time. Not too many people, but just enough to get some good conversation going. I don't really see my extended family, so the few that show up are a treat. We laugh, we drink, we have a good time.Then comes the book reading. My grandmother, every year since I can remember, has always read 'The Night Before Christmas'. She sits on the couch with my grandfather, everyone else huddled on the floor like a bunch of six year olds. My mother immediately starts bawling her eyes out. Always. The past few years, my mother has taken up the tradition of reading 'The Midnight Express' directly after my grandmother finishes. Of course, you can barely understand her as she reads and cries and reads and cries. She really loves that book.I, like you, try to play the part the best I can, even though I absolutely cannot stand the holiday. I take it for how I see it; some quality time with family. It doesn't have to be about gifts, and I continually express this to my family. Really, I just want to spend some time with you. Last year, I gave everyone books. There is a great used book store near me (Baldwin's Book Barn), and all of my X-mas shopping was done there. It was fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing this. I really enjoyed the read.
We do the same Christmas eve thing with some of The Wife's extended family every year (not the reading though). We take turns hosting it and pick a different theme for each year, then actually have some decent fun with a low-cost yankee swap related to that theme. It's funny; my own mother and her boyfriend head off to Florida every year in early November and spend the winter on his boat. It's a nice escape for them, and it certainly cuts down on any conflict over whose family we're going to spend Christmas with.Thanks for reading--glad you enjoyed it!