I was strolling the aisles of ShopKo the other night looking for Lucy’s Halloween costume and I couldn’t help but notice that there was an entire row of Christmas trees right behind the bags of candy corn.
Come on, people!
I LOVE Christmas (it’s my favorite holiday), but can we please be allowed to take a few minutes to carve our jack-o-lanterns before we move on to wrestling with Christmas lights?! This “rush everything” mentality really bums me out and makes me quite susceptible to Adultitis before the holiday season even starts. Grrr… (shaking fist in the air!)
Speaking of “rushing everything,” a friend of mine shared that her husband’s family draws names for a Christmas gift exchange. My family also does that, and I’ve found it’s a nice way to create more time to put extra thought into the gifts you buy, since you only have a few to think about. Saves time and money. Win – win!
My friend drew her sister-in-law. Since they live across the country from one another, my friend decided to email the hubby to get some ideas about what kinds of things she would like. Her brother-in-law emailed her a very specific (and generic) idea. Then he went on to offer to buy it for her, wrap it and send a bill. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
Now, my friend is a busy work-at-home mom with two kids under six. The convenience of her brother-in-law’s offer was quite appealing and yet as she relayed the story to me, she was disappointed about the whole scenario — what a boring and heartless option. Merry Christmas, sis!?
When gift giving becomes a transaction instead of an act of thoughtfulness, we’re missing the point.
As I thought more about it, I realized that a similar version of this often happens in my own family. We have a $25 limit for our gift exchange. Last year I noticed a bunch of gifts were $25 gift cards. I gave my brother-in-law $25 to Sears. He gave Jason $25 to Barnes & Noble. And the cycle of boring and thoughtlessness continues. Part of me wonders why we don’t just keep our $25, buy our own gifts, and call it a day. It’d be simpler.
I know why this happens, and quite honestly, why I have been guilty of it myself.
The holidays are overwhelming!
Our already overflowing to-do lists are unbearably long, making shortcuts necessary in order to NOT turn as green as the Grinch.
Where does the extra time come from that is needed to get all of the extra things done?
So we rush, grumble, create shortcuts wherever we can, and try to get through it all with a (sometimes fake) smile on our face.
Here’s the secret formula for an Adultitis-free holiday season…
Starting now = more time.
More time = more thoughtfulness.
More thoughtfulness = strengthened connections with those you love.
Strengthened connections with those you love = experiencing the true meaning of the season of giving.
Experiencing the true meaning of the season of giving = an Adultitis-free holiday season.
Stop pretending like you care by dolling out gift cards.
Instead, spend a few minutes each weekend putting some “heart” into your gifts — it doesn’t take as much time as you would think. Recall a conversation you shared. Scan their Facebook profiles. Think about what kinds of things the person is passionate about (think hobbies, favorite movies and TV shows, musical interests, sports teams, etc.). Especially with online shopping at our fingertips, thoughtful gift buying has never been so easy. You don’t have to run to every store in town to find that unique gift idea — just Google it, darn it.
If you start now, not only will you save tons on last-minute shipping costs, you will preserve your sanity, allowing you a much greater chance of actually being “present” for the holidays. Now that’s a gift worth giving during the holidays — a happy You!
You have plenty of weekends left until Rudolph lights up your yard.
R.M. Koske says
I noticed a few years back that the increasing early start on Christmas makes me enjoy it less when it comes. I feel like I start in mid-October thinking “NO! It isn’t time for Christmas yet! NO CHRISTMAS! I want Halloween! I want Thanksgiving! Lalalalala!” (How’s that for being childlike? Hee.)
And then when it is December, I’ve somehow shut Christmas down in my head and can’t get it back. No Christmas. *sigh*
The really frustrating thing is that you’re right – the antidote to rushed, unpleasant Christmas is starting early. I always say that craft stores get a pass with me – they can sell Christmas stuff as early as they like. Crafting for Christmas takes time. Putting yourself into Christmas takes time, too.
I’m still figuring out how, unfortunately, but I’m trying.
Josh Bulloc says
I have to say I like Thanksgiving more than Christmas. First the food is great. Second, I get to spend time with family and friends. Third, the time is not based around gifts and worrying about the right things to get everybody.
Kansas City, MO
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