Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Random Rant - Why Save It All For Christmas Day?

I'll be the first to admit I have a love hate relationship with the Christmas season. While I enjoy our decorated tree, doing a little shopping for the kids, the lights adoring our porch and the snowman inflatables on the front lawn, overindulging in bottles glasses of wine and making gifts for the handful of friends we have, I can't wrap (no pun intended) my head around the rest of the Christmas bullshit.
Overspending. Unnecessary stress. Piles upon piles of gifts. Maxing out credit cards. Road rage with shopping carts. The pressure. Grumpy shoppers. Purchasing gifts because it's expected. 

At the top of my list of Christmas bullshit is more or less a question. Why save it all for Christmas day? Or, more accurately, the Christmas season. The month of December.

To simplify this a bit, I'll use Lisa and I as an example. We don't buy each other Christmas gifts. When we tell people this, they're usually shocked. I can tell by their expression. Two people. Married. It's Christmas. No gifts?


Lisa and I share the same views about Christmas gifts. Why spend a good chunk of money on a dozen or so gifts just because it's Christmas. Where's the fun in opening a pile of gifts that were purchased just because it's Christmas. Neither one of us shop well under pressure. We do our best to stay away from retailers during the Christmas season. And, buying gifts because it's expected, just because it's Christmas, takes away from the sentimentality.

Instead, throughout the year, we surprise each other with really great just because gifts. It's fun. There's no pressure.

That's what we do. We don't save it all for Christmas day. We like it that way.

With that being said, now we can look at the bigger picture. Aside from the ridiculous spending, raged shoppers and sardine-can packed stores, what happens during the month of December?

Generous and frequent random acts of kindness. 

Whether it's people donating turkeys and hams to stock the food pantries or purchasing gifts for families in need, random acts of kindness are at an all-time high. I'm not saying people don't extend kindness throughout the year. They do. However, during the month of December, there's an abundance of it. It's the season to give. Charity is booming and people donate money, food, gifts, basic necessities, etc. An endless stream of fundraisers are launched. Donations to our local animal shelters are through the roof. Food. Toys. Beds. Gifts.

All of that is wonderful, however, in January things take a steep nosedive. January and February suck. People are trying to catch up on bills they didn't pay in December because they had to buy Christmas gifts. The credit card bills arrive.

The season of giving is behind us.

If people didn't save it all for Christmas, or the month of December, things would be different. A lot different. Food pantries and animal shelters would have a steady stream of donations. Pleas for food and blankets and coats wouldn't be necessary. Or, at least not as often. There wouldn't be a lull during the first few months of the new year when everyone was scraping by to pay off what they spent for Christmas.


Not saving it all for Christmas Day.

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