|Ghost of Christmas Presents; did we need all that stuff?|
I didn't think so. This holiday time of year has become almost exclusively devoted to the acquisition of new stuff—the real reason for the season. Show them how much you love them—buy them more stuff!
Our house is already crammed to the rafters. We call them vintage collectibles—childhood toys and dolls, movie posters, books yet to be read, pieces of furniture no longer in use, random kitchen appliances, clothes and shoes unworn since the Clinton administration—but no matter how much lipstick you put on it, it's still stuff.
And instead of mindlessly accumulating more of it, we're ready to get rid of it.
So this year, Art Boy and I made the radical decision not to exchange holiday presents. We won't totally Grinch-out; we're going to bake cookies, hang stockings, play carols, and deck the halls. I'll even put up my infamous Nativity of Troll dolls.
But our season will be a lot more jolly without the frenzy and hysteria that usually comes with it—desperate trips to the mall, long check-out lines, frazzled clerks and fellow-shoppers. Worst of all is that awful feeling that you just can't keep up with the demands of the season, that you're going to run out of time before it all gets done.
"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents," grumbles Jo March, lying on the rug, at the beginning of Little Women. But as the residents of Whoville can tell you, it doesn't really have to be about the presents. Not even the Grinch could keep Christmas from coming—presents or no.
|The gift of space and time.|
Instead of more stuff, Art Boy and I are giving ourselves the gift of space and time.
No, we haven't bought a Tardis. (Oh, if only we could!) But, as an alternative to stockpiling more things, we'll be devoting a few days to clearing out what we already have, and, hopefully, streamlining and sprucing up our space.
And the time we save by not shopping for more stuff can be better spent in so many other ways—like hanging out with friends and family, the kitties, and each other.
What better way to celebrate this most festive, yet reflective time of year? Hey, maybe I'll even get around to reading some of those old books...