I want to clarify and expand on something I said yesterday: If every day was like Christmas, Christmas would no longer be special. In fact, I think, in some ways, all the wrong ways, every day is like Christmas. Kids no longer have to wait for Christmas to get toys or special treats. Most kids get toys and treats throughout the year, often as bribes to “be good”. And we adults don’t wait to treat ourselves either.
I like to shop and I love shopping for gifts and I’m not going to stop. I like being able to, within reason, buy what I need as well as little unnecessary things all year long and I don’t want to live a lifestyle of constant deprivation nor do I want anyone else to live that way. But, because most of us are not in any way deprived, we may feel like we have to really go over the top to make Christmas special. Spend, spend, spend, and eat, eat, eat! I love it. I really do. But I think, for some people, Christmas still seems to be lacking something it used to have when we were kids.
We expect there to be magic in Christmas and we spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars trying to buy it. But the magic in Christmas is not in how much we spend. It’s in the people we spend time with. It’s in traditions like decorating a Christmas tree with special ornaments that we’ve had for years. It’s in making, not necessarily a lot of food but foods we don’t eat at any other time of year. And gifts? The best gifts are not the most expensive ones. The best gifts, for adults, are those little things about which people say, “I love that but I don’t need it.” Most of all, the magic is inside us. If we want it to be there, it is.
Also, I must say this: I have no patience for those people who say things like, “People forget the real meaning of Christmas.” The “real meaning” is different for different people and that is OKAY! If, to you, it means shopping that’s just fine as long as you enjoy it and you’re not just shopping because you “have to” or because you’re desperately trying “bring back the magic” by spending more than you can afford.
I said when every day is like Christmas, Christmas is no longer special. The way to make it special is to make it different, in some way,from the rest of the year. If rushing around spending lots of money isn’t doing it for you try some quiet little traditions instead.