Christmas isn’t wild/STRONG, it is the most ridiculous holiday on our calendar. Giving gifts on Christmas isn’t wild/STRONG and you should stop it, completely.
The first reminder I get that Christmas is almost here – Facebook videos of people trampling each other, men punching women in the face, adults kicking children and getting maced by police – for a $20 Blu-Ray player at Wal-Mart.
“Yes! The Holiday Season is here!”
Next up: “The War on Christmas”. Christians around the globe complaining that Christmas is “under attack”…yes, a religious holiday that is celebrated by billions of non-religious people is “under attack” because a mentally disabled 108 year-old greeter at Wal-Mart said “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” Yes, the “war” has truly begun!
Followed by: Last-second shopping! Everywhere you go, a throng of late-season shoppers, traffic glutting the highways, the post office packed with people willing to pay top-dollar to get their packages of stuff to their loved ones “on time”.
Forgive me if I am not giddy with excitement to participate in this annual fuckery. Allegedly it is a time of “giving”…but it is nothing but stress. What should you buy for your significant other, how much should you spend on your kids, is a gift card a cop-out, what do you buy if the person has everything, why wont this guy in front of me move out of my fucking way, why do I want to kill myself I thought this was supposed to be a fun holiday?
This year, I will give zero gifts to adults on Christmas morning. I’ll tackle the issue of kids in a moment. Stuff is not important to me. My loved ones know this. They know I don’t want anything for Christmas. I don’t want to be a source of stress to the people I care about. When my mom sends me an email every year asking what I want for Christmas, my answer is always the same: Nothing. Don’t get me anything.
I’m an adult. I make my own money. If I want something bad enough, I’ll buy it for myself. If I see something that I think my girlfriend would like or was thinking about buying, I’ll buy it for her. I refuse to horde these gifts until some specific date on the calendar celebrating the birth of some desert religion deity. She wanted new weightlifting shoes, cuz she lifts, bro. So I ordered them – and gave them to her when they arrived. She just got back from shopping, she picked me up some cool new socks for Crossfit, she gave them to me. She bought me an awesome shirt last month – why would she hold on to this and give it on some federal holiday? We give each other gifts all year long – so why make one day above all others when it comes to giving gifts.
I’d rather spend the day off for this holiday, doing something with those I care about. My perfect Christmas. Wake up, eat a big breakfast, lift some heavy weights and then go snowboarding. That sounds infinitely better than getting up at 4:30 to tear away wrapping paper – unwrapping piles of stuff to clutter your house with for another year – as you teach your children that materialism and consumerism is King. That buying stuff is how you show that your care about someone. Training your next generation of good little consumer soldiers – the American way – spend as much as you can, go into debt to show your family you love them. I’ll fucking pass.
It’s easy to start this “no gifts” policy with adults. Sit down and talk to them. Kids, it’s a bit more difficult. All their friends are getting gifts, they are bombarded with imagery all season long. So how do you move them towards a non-consumer lifestyle? I try to give my boys experiences instead of stuff. Concert or sporting event tickets for their favorite bands or teams – whatever it is, make it something that will make memories, not something you’ll step on in the middle of the night while trying to navigate through your own living room.
If you absolutely must celebrate this holiday by giving something to someone, make it yourself. You’re not “crafty”? Who cares? Find something you can create. My kids one year made those parachute cord bracelets for their grandparents and uncles. If they can make something, you can. Just stop the spend-a-thon. Stop stressing yourself. Remember, if everyone is doing something – you should probably do the opposite. Let everyone else pile on top of each other trying to get “all the best deals” – relax. Actually enjoy the holidays with those you care about – and go do something together away from all this bullshit.