It is the most wonderful time of the year. The time when I realize that bathing suit season is only 6 months away and if I plan on going anywhere near a beach I need to buckle down, lose some weight, and get in shape. Which is why I am enjoying a delicious cup of coffee with flavored creamer, and by cup I mean 3 cups, (70 calories per cup) and a decadent piece (okay, two pieces) of fudge.
This is also the time of year when Americans will spend approximately 500 BILLION on Christmas gifts, trees, cards, and other Holiday related items. 500 BILLION. I feel as if we are completely slacking in the spending department. I mean really, only a mere $500,000,000,000. To put a little perspective on this, the U.S. federal government allocated approximately 140 billion on Education for 2014.
I’m not really certain how to respond to this information but I feel as though the Grinch said it best: “You want to know what happens to your gifts? They all come to me, In Your Garbage. You see what I’m saying? In your garbage. I could hang myself with all the bad Christmas neckties I found at the dump. And the avarice…The avarice never ends! ‘I want golf clubs. I want diamonds. I want a pony so I can ride it twice, get bored and sell it to make glue.’”
When did owning and having THINGS become the end all, be all? I recently went through a divorce and the ex and I had to divide up all the things we had amassed in 19 years. It took one year of sending countless Fredman Forms (schedule of property) back and forth, and finally a forced mediation ordered by the court. By the time we got to mediation I was willing to give everything away; from the Grandfather clock to a garden rake. It was very freeing to get rid of so many items, and I’ve been downsizing ever since. I’m embarrassed at all the stuff I had accumulated over the years… seriously who needs a waffle iron that makes heart shaped waffles? I already had a regular waffle iron. Four shovels, 18 lap blankets, throw pillows I didn’t want, need, or even like. Four desks, 8 bookcases, 3 television sets – I don’t have cable, 3 Futons, 4 cameras that had not been used in years, knick knacks out the wazoo, and a partridge in a pear tree. STUFF that fills up space… stuff I don’t want or need.
So when I think of Christmas shopping I actually get a bit sick to my stomach and wonder…. “WHY?” I would much rather spend time with my family and friends. Lou Lou Who had a great response: “I’m glad he took our presents. You can’t hurt Christmas, Mr. Mayor, because it isn’t about the gifts, or the contest, or the fancy lights. That’s what Cindy’s been trying to tell everyone…and me. I don’t need anything more for Christmas than this right here: my family.”
“He puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
This is truth. What I wouldn’t give to have my Grandparents here for one more Christmas, one more conversation, one more hug. Time spent with family and friends creating lasting memories. That’s all I really want for Christmas.