Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tis the Season to Be Obligated

It's not quite accurate of me to say "I hate Christmas", but it is short and to the point. What would be more accurate to say is, "I hate how Christmas is practiced in the consumer-driven world.". And, really, "I hate Christmas," for many of the same reasons I hate other consumer-driven holidays: I hate the sense of obligation and expectation.


I hate that, as adults, so many of us still act like five year old children. Rather than having a holiday that's about families, friends and enjoying each others company, it's frequently dwarfed by the gift-giving.


Now, don't get me wrong: I like to give gifts and, sometimes, I even like to receive them. However, I don't like to be dictated to about when I should give or receive gifts. If I love someone or am friends with someone, I think I should feel free to gift them with things any time I like. At the same time, I don't feel that I should have to give them things just because of some arbitrary date on the damned calendar.


I particularly don't like having to play the "what do you want for Christmas" game - least of all as the person being asked. There's damned few things that I want at any time of year, let alone Christmas. In general, if I genuinely want something, I want it when I want it and get it when I want it. I don't like to have to wait to get something just so other people can check something off on their holiday list. I also don't like to have to come up with a BS list of things I don't actually want, just so other people can check something off on their holiday lists.


And, by "BS list", I mean a list of things constrained by such factors as price, ease of getting, or practicality. Petty as it may be, I don't generally consider most "practical" or "easy to get" things as being terribly "gifty". If it's something I simply need rather than want, I can run to the grocery store, pharmacy, hardware store, etc. and pick it up, myself. I don't really consider candy and similar things to be gifts - unless they're hard to get stuff or otherwise require a certain level of thought and consideration. Yeah, I'm a spoiled brat that way.


At the same time, I'm not generally a fan of giving gifts of that nature, either. If I give something, I'd much prefer it be something harder to get or otherwise requiring some level of genuine effort or thought. And, I'm a big fan - giving or receiving - of the "I saw this and it called your name" type of random gift-giving.


Oh well. "Bah humbug," I guess.

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