I just don’t have it yet.
Maybe it’s because my parents have both been so busy that we haven’t had the chance to decorate for the season in the house yet. Or maybe it’s because I just came back to 75, sunny, and brown after living in cold, snowy, lights-on-Main-Street, giant-tree-in-the-middle-of-the-Green for a while. I’ve been listening to Christmas music and watching some Christmas shows…I’ve even done what little shopping I’m doing this year (Mom, Dad, mom’s stocking…and like two more random people). I just can’t find the spirit.
I miss Christmastime in the Czech Republic. Yes, it was snowy and cold, but that’s not the point. What I loved about Christmas there was the utter lack of commercialism. Gifts were few and far between, well though-out if bought, but homemade more often that not. Christmas music didn’t play in stores. Decorations were old-fashioned, real - none of this “let’s see who can have the biggest, most electrically awesome display in town” crap. There was red velvet ribbon, maybe some pine, a few wooden decorations. The most ostentatious decoration was smack in the middle of town, in Namesti Svobody; a great tree, tall and beautiful, covered with simple, white twinkle lights and a star at the top. You really felt Christmas there, you know, the real thing. Not materialistic, commercial Giftsmas. Christmas. A time when man is supposed to love and feel gratitude for life and those living it. You don’t need to be a Christian to understand that.
I believe presents are okay…just put thought into it. Get something someone would actually use, or you know would be very special to him or her, or that is an inside joke kind of thing and would make that person laugh and feel happy. The generic iTunes or Starbucks $10 giftcard (unless you know someone who WOULD actually truly benefit from that) shows no thought. No caring. It’s simply: let me buy something that can work so I can cross this person off my list.
My friend and I have decided that in lieu of trying to buy something for each other, we’re just going to spend an entire day together, morning through to the next. I imagine we’ll meet up for breakfast, go do something fun, snack at lunchtime, do something else fun, grab dinner, watch a movie, and stay up all night talking. That kind of quality time with her is so much more valuable to me than anything she could buy me, especially since we’re going to school on opposite sides of the country.
Funny. Writing this all down has left me a little inspired to put Giftsmas to shame and really enjoy Christmas. I feel better now….but maybe it’s because it’s cloudy and gray today. Oh well. Whatever helps, I guess.