With Labor Day weekend approaching it is inevitable that my heart turns to Christmas. I’m so done with summer. And Halloween does nothing for me. Zip. I love Thanksgiving but I consider it a part of Christmas. That’s just how I roll.
So it is only natural for me to have Christmas on the brain right now.
Before I spend a penny, before I make a plan, before I lick a stamp, hang a stocking or string a light: there are some things I must promise myself NOT to do this Christmas.
Like New Year’s resolutions these are the big bad no-no’s for me this year:
1. I will NOT just buy Christmas presents.
This has to be #1. I’m long past caring what I spend on Christmas (or anything else for that matter). Middle age does that to you. When you’re young, you’re broke. When you have kids, you’re still broke but you go frugal because, doggone it, you’ve got to be an example. When you realize you one day want to retire — and this hits you at about age 33 — you worry about “saving”.
Then you hit 50. And you conclude you could get hit by a bus and all that money would end up in the hands of someone ungrateful and unworthy. So spending money on Christmas isn’t a thing.
But it has been a sobering lesson from Christmas past to think that spending money on Christmas means it actually becomes a great Christmas. Money doesn’t make Christmas.
In fact, it’s just the opposite. Money ruins Christmas. Linus had it right.
The meaningful Christmas requires thoughtfulness, creativity…true giving.
This year I’m not worried about money or stores or shipping deadlines. And I’m not worried about giving just because it’s Christmas. I’ll give where my heart leads me. If that means I stiff a co-worker or a neighbor I don’t really like anyway and only talk to at Christmas and the 4th of July, so be it. I’m looking for quality giving this year: both in what I give and who I give it to.
Does that make me Scrooge?
2. I will NOT sniff at tradition.
I’m blasting Perry Como this year. Grand kids and snibbling teenagers be danged. We’re rockin’ White Christmas, too.
I’m doing bubble lights, good old fashioned incandescent bulbs, and ornaments that break. I don’t live in snow country any more but this year, doggone it, I’m making snowballs.
There is nothing wrong with the old Christmas. In fact, I kind of like it and I don’t care who thinks ill of me because of it.
3. I will NOT be worried about being politically correct.
Merry Christmas! There. I said it. Sue me.
I’m not tiptoeing this year. If you’re Jewish, Merry Christmas! If you’re Muslim, Merry Christmas! If you’re Atheist, Merry Christmas! If you’re liberal, Merry Christmas!
If you work for a school district, a shopping center, a feminist organization, a tree-hugging environmental group, a newspaper, a civic organization or the gay rights lobby — Merry Christmas! And a happy friggin’ New Year to you, too.
This is America. Merry Christmas. It’s what we do.
4. I will NOT snarf every thing I see to eat.
Man, this is the hardest one of all. I don’t even like sweets and Christmas is awash in every kind of powdered sugar something imaginable. Why in the world do I eat it?
Give me the chestnuts. I’ll taste anything.
But I don’t have to gorge myself on it.
5. I will NOT be normal.
A lot of people get sick of Christmas. Those who do seem to go the other way in December — they overdo the anti-Christmas thing during the season. I once had a friend who played EVERYTHING Bing Crosby except White Christmas and I’ll Be Home for Christmas in December.
Not me. Give me normal of nothing. I refuse to be normal.
Come December I’m all Christmas all the time. Christmas movies, Christmas music, Christmas food, Christmas decorations, Christmas television, Christmas sweaters — the works. I want it all.
Christmas is a season to be savored.
It is an environment to be consumed and digested fully. I will bathe in it.
I will exude the attitudes that being immersed in it properly should convey: giving, loving, bright, hopeful, and charitable.
Ok, even to that neighbor I only talk to once a year.
(Submitted anonymously by a man who knows his wife will discover this and tell his mother.)