Beginning around July, I started to feel anxious about Christmas. I wanted to opt out and go away somewhere and not celebrate. Neither of my parents are around, so I can do whatever I want, right? Mike said no, though.
For many years, the holiday season has been a season of loss and pain for me. It lessens as the years go by, but it’s always there. And the stress associated with exchanging gifts is something I’d rather not have to experience.
I feel a little uncomfortable receiving gifts from people — if I want something, there’s no reason why I can’t buy it myself. And I do.
One of the best things about working from home is that I’m around to accept deliveries from FedEx or UPS, so I don’t hold back when it comes to online shopping. I love getting the tracking number and watching as the package gets closer and closer to me. It’s like Santa brings me stuff year-round. My Christmas morning is hearing the doorbell, running to the door, and reaching out for that box.
I feel like nobody should have to go through the trouble of getting me anything because they feel they have to, you know? And I’m not convinced that the things I give to people are really the right things, either. Why can’t we express our affection through non-material means?
I took the Love Languages quiz the other night and found that my “love language” is acts of service. So when Mike does something like assembles the new Ikea bathroom cart I bought or makes me toast, that means more to me than an object in a box.
Time spent together is also important to me. It seems like a lot of people are realizing that time is more valuable than money, because our time is finite. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. We can’t make it up or get it back.
So when Mike’s mom suggested not doing presents this year, I was all for it. Not only did Mike and I not buy anything for his family, we also didn’t buy anything for each other. Rather than focusing the day on unwrapping gifts, we hung out, had a lot of laughs, played a game, ate and then had dinner at a restaurant — a first for everyone. It was wonderful because had an experience together and we made memories. Isn’t that more precious than unwrapping something?
I did end up exchanging gifts with my brother and a few others and I was happy to do it. It was nowhere near the stress I usually feel.
As 2015 begins, I decided to stop buying myself dresses and shoes online and instead save that money for our wedding. It’s time to retire that year-round Santa.
Have you ever had a low-key holiday like we did?