A few years ago I had the rare opportunity to discover what I had bought through the years. It surprised me that I had tried to purchase happiness, but isn’t that the definition for ‘Christmas’.
One day a year we consume in excess to bring joy to others. My father was the boss of this holiday. For days after ‘Christmas’ every kid would talk about his or her new train set or scooter or baseball mitt or doll Santa had placed under the tree.
After the tree was taken down and all the wrapping paper and decorations put away, we would start making a list of things to tell Santa to bring to us next year. Flamed by advertising, consumption was our fix.
As I look at the commercials trying to entice the last few dollars to be separated from your wallet before Wednesday, I think back at the trouble of purchasing ‘Christmas’ presents. The holiday that I normally had to work would start with the usual fare of coffee and opening presents under the tree. The tree got smaller and less decorated with additional critters in the house.
There were always the typical gifts of sweaters or gloves or some sort of jewelry but the necessities were already purchased. Even special items had been bought without any consultation. Since there was only the two of us there wasn’t much struggle on figuring out what to buy. Mostly it was already bought.
Every week I gave her some amount of money to purchase whatever was needed to provide joy to her life. Sometimes it was enough and sometime more was requested. I did not ask why the purchase was made for it made her happy. It would amaze me the degrees of shopping adventures she would take and the bounty of her treasures.
So when the holiday came around, what was I to do? She had everything or at least for the moment had no unusual wants or needs, at least on that day. One year I did get away with a diamond, as a surprise only to find out it was the wrong kind. Years later I attempted to redeem myself and I think I accomplished my goal. They are all now in the ocean.
Providing ‘Christmas’ everyday was easier for me rather than trying to decipher the array of interest from animals, plants, sewing, cooking, artwork, weaving, videos, books…. The list goes on and on. Maybe not the most practical or economical method of satisfying a continuous interest, but it sure made life interesting.
And what do I want for ‘Christmas’? I was given several gifts that I knew what the meaning was but were not what I would have preferred. I have learned over the years to accept with grace.
This year I’ve already completed the ‘Christmas’ treat so the day will come and the day will go. The neighbor’s decorations will be taken down and we will settle into winter. Not even the rising of the Cary Street ball, that won’t happen this year, could change the inevitable.
With all the postings on social media or the carols or the cartoons and cards, there will be no ‘Christmas’ this year.