We made the decision in September. My dh and I walked into a JC Penney’s to look for towels or something, the day after the Labor Day weekend. And the store already had its Christmas decorations up. I stared in shock at the girl behind the catalog counter, and she took one look at my face and said, “I know. I hate it too.”
Then and there we decided to rebel, in our small way, against the naked greed, the crass commercialism that has become Christmas. We called our extended family and told them we were not giving anyone gifts this year, except for the children, so please don’t plan on giving anything to us. Everyone was relieved. It seems that everyone else had been wanting to do something similar for some time.
It is amazing how the joy of giving returns to Christmas when the obligation of giving has been removed from it. We picked up a few little things here and there, when we stumbled across them quite by accident: “That reminds me of so-and-so, wouldn’t they love it!” And instead of feeling like you HAVE to buy it, you happily take it home, thinking of how much pleasure it will give the recipient, because they aren’t expecting anything from you. Gifts can come from the heart again.
My sister-in-law, freed from the obligation of gifts, gave all of us the most beautiful gift we have ever received from her. She interviewed my mother over the course of a month, and typed up her history, and had it bound in a beautiful book. This was my mother’s last Christmas, and this gift had everyone in tears. It was a true priceless gift.
It was a wonderful Christmas.
Many thanks to Choosing Home for inspiring this post.