Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Holiday Dilemma.

We're now in the serious holiday shopping season. And I'm not one who decries the commercialization of Christmas.

In fact, I grew up in a retailing family, clerking at my parents' clothing business, and in the '70's published an Op-Ed piece in The New York Times about my good memories of "Christmas at the store." (The argument of the piece was that nostalgia's better when it's real and honest, not Currier & Ives.)

But nostalgia aside, the holidays are for many us (me, for one) pressureful--an extra set of deadlines. What to do about this? It takes some spunk to single-handedly go against the great wave that says have it all done by the 25th.

I'd like to be able to give a Christmas present at any point during the year. And have it all done up in Christmas paper and ribbon, never mind that it might be August or April. Do you think I'll ever do that? Would I really like it? Don't know.

But some new variations on the ways to celebrate would be an interesting experiment. I'd love to hear your stories here.

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Debra w said...


This is a difficult one, and if anyone has any answers, I would also love to hear them. Being Jewish, our holiday is spread throughout eight nights, and so there is a little more time to absorb the festivities. I also feel the pressure that you are talking about. I think that you would really have to isolate yourself in order not to get swept up into it.

billie said...

I have several friends whose "christmas gifts" are often delivered much later in the year, whenever we decide to do it, both ways.

In my family of origin, we've cut out most of the gifting and focus on getting together for good food and good company.

We enjoy decorating here, and the kids look forward to their gifts - either one "bigger" one or several "smaller." We all add to the Christmas stockings during the month of December, and that's actually become the most fun of all. Every animal here has one as well, and opening their stockings with them is a blast.

I'm much more attuned to the winter solstice than to Christmas, and we do a fun dinner/ceremony on the night of the solstice that's far more meaningful than what we do on Christmas Day.

I think you just have to be bold, Peggy, and do what feels right for YOU. :)

Peggy said...

The group filling of stockings sounds like a lot of fun.

I find that there are often one or two presents that are particularly fun to give--because I feel that the person and the gift are such a good match.

Last year I cut down a holly tree for our tree that I had planted about seven years earlier after it had served as a little table tree. The grown one had to have about three feet cut off to stand up in our story-and-a-half high den. That was kind of cool.

Perhaps a review of what has worked for me would be helpful.