repressing the holiday spirit

No, seriously – Christmas is cancelled this year.

We move on the 18th, and there are a lot of things we need for the new place. We’ve been stressed out since October and there’s just no time or money that wouldn’t be better spent on house things – so we cancelled Christmas. Seven of us bought new homes this year, so we’re all feeling the pinch. It was unanimously decided that instead of exchanging presents, we’re going to spend Quality Time with one another – we’ll each host a festive meal at our new digs, and toast to an expensive but satisfying year.

This is a good idea, and I love that we actually get to spend the holidays with our Vancouver family – this’ll be the first year that everyone is in town, so we’re going to make for excellent times with people we love. We’re all broke and don’t need more stuff, so celebrating the season with food and drink is a perfect alternative.

I can’t help but be a little sad, though. I like Christmas. I like giving people presents and being all cheery and decorating things. I especially love Friendmas; our annual exchange of gifts – it’s one of my favourite parts of the year. I love the challenge of buying presents for Ed, he of the impossible-to-please. I stress myself crazy every year, but it’s all part of the season.

Not this year, though. I have to ignore all the festive trappings around me and just concentrate on my box-filled house, knowing that the greater good – shiny new home – is much bigger than my love of wrapping presents in vintage pornography. Still, Ed and I compromised – we’re exchanging one gift. Sort of. He pointed at something, I bought mine online, and that’s it. It’s not the same, but at least it’s something.

I’m going to miss stockings most of all, though. It’s always been my favourite part of Christmas Day, and even though we’ll have a million other things going on and there won’t be any time or need for sad, I can’t help but be crushed that even this little tiny part of Christmas won’t go on. I’m also the only one who really cares about it, so it’s not really worth raising a fuss over.

I know I don’t need more stuff. Still, if someone wanted to buy me a goat or a donkey, I wouldn’t say no.

10 thoughts on “repressing the holiday spirit

  1. We did that a couple years ago when we ended up moving on January 5th. We did decorate a small shrubbery and filled each other’s stockings, but that was about it in terms of the commercial part of the holiday.

    Funny thing is, it stuck. We still get a tree and decorate, and share food and drink and goodtimes with friends and family, but we haven’t bought much in the way of presents for each other since then (other than stockings). Our entirely kid-free families have scaled back the presenting by doing a gift draw (everyone buys a present for one other person), because frankly, we are pretty good a fulfilling our own needs at this point in life, and nobody wants or needs another tchochke to be re-gifted a couple years later.

    The holiday still ends up being fully cheery and awesome, and the complete absence of stress at finding “the perfect gift” for everyone (and paying for it all) has been an unexpected bonus.

    • But you still do stockings! :D

      I think if we HAD kept Friendmas this year, we would have moved to a gift draw system – our band of merry men has grown by several, and I’d rather buy something awesome for one person than something lame for a dozen.

      Honestly, the only thing I’m sad about is the stockings. The more I think about it, the happier I am that I don’t have to drive myself crazy over gifting for everyone – I’m slightly neurotic about it, and I won’t miss that part :)

      • I say revamp the plan to include stockings – no sense torturing yourself unnecessarily! Just set a limit so it doesn’t get out of control. All gifts must fit inside a standard stocking (no man-sized stockings) at the same time, and the total value of the stocking can not exceed a certain dollar amount.

  2. Yeah, I don’t get the not doing stockings thing. I mean, you can do hipster cheap stockings with really dorky little things and set a $ limit so you don’t spend too much on them. I mean, isn’t that kind of the point of stockings? They are silly and fun and not the expensive part?

  3. I love Christmas too! I think this year Allan and I aren’t going to exchange presents either. It makes me a bit sad but it’s probably for the best with all the apartment spending we did a couple months ago and recently purchased gear.

    It’s all about who you spend it with though, right? :) I think your Christmas sounds very jolly to me!

    BTW, I’m just getting caught up on your life now. Congrats on the big purchase, the big move and the wonderful kitchen!

  4. Sounds crappy! I love decorating. I don’t really care anymore what I open (like most people I am sick of useless junk in the name of the birth of the Baby Cheeses, er Jesus) but you can’t stop me from putting up a shrubbery, or listening to Christmas music.

    That said, I think your festive meal circuit sounds like a damn fine plan. Nothin’ says lovin’ like some soft cheese and pate on a plank of wood with crackers.

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