I love Christmas. I love the music, the decorations, the baking, the traditions. I love how the world seems more giving and more forgiving. Society turns to service and goodwill to all men. Jesus Christ becomes more important and religion is more acceptable even to atheists.
I'm not a scrooge, but I am beginning to dislike Christmas immensely. The store displays have skipped right over Thanksgiving (I guess not many people actually decorate for this holiday) and are already piping Christmas music to all departments. The infamous Black Friday has apparently started already. Retailers are doing all in their power to get people spending money right now. I get it. The economy has hurt them as much as it has affected individual lives. But I feel pushed into buying things I don't want or need. Gift giving has become an expectation rather than a delightful surprise.
I know I'm not the only one who is noticing this and I have a friend who is so discouraged that she has put her dog in charge of shopping for presents. It's an idea to be considered.
I want to go back to the simpler times. When gifts were homemade or acts of service. When all that was expected from extended family was a Christmas Card with perhaps a family photo. I have no need to keep up with the Jones and all things considered, my children have the important things and don't need the distractions of the latest gaming system, their own television set, or a stocking filled with trinkets which will end up broken, lost, or discarded within a week. Giving gifts just to have something under the tree seems unnecessary and unreasonable.
Guess it's time to pull out the cookbook and the sewing machine and get to simplifying Christmas.