It’s Christmas, almost. And no, I’m not purposefully excluding Hannukah, or Kwanzaa, or whatever religious holiday you happen to celebrate because, let’s be honest, the mall isn’t decorated with African Misumaa Saba hanging from the ceilings; nor is Toys R Us headlining its weekly circular with this year’s “must have” dreidel. It’s Christmas that everyone is celebrating and shopping for, and it’s Christmas that we celebrate around here, so it’s our reference point.
Regardless of what you call it, and despite whatever efforts we all make to try and put a fine religious point on it, the real tradition revolves around giving. It’s a sort of giving that should be effortless and from the heart, not forced or something that involves a worrisome bunch of effort.
I pretty much finished my shopping a couple of weeks ago. This is largely because I cut back on the gift-giving this year; a trend that I see repeating itself in years to come. But since it is such a departure from my normal behavior around the holidays, it has caused me no small amount of guilt and self-introspection. So, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to this whole idea of gift giving and what kinds of “rules” one should have when it comes to turning around the cash people give you and just giving it to other people in the form of gifts. Because that’s really what we’re doing right?
Anyway, something crystallized in my head the other day. I think it was just this past weekend when CareerMom casually mentioned, “I have no idea what I’m getting you.”
Now normally, a comment like this would have just “VROOM’d” over my head like something out of Peanut comedy bit; but, in light of the cud chewing I’d been doing lately around gifts, this comment hit me kind of sideways and I thought to myself, “Well, if you don’t know by now, then don’t even worry about it.”
Now doesn’t that sound like an odd thing to say?
But the more I think on it, the more I’m almost offended, which is insanity incarnate. But, stick with me here:
If, two weeks outside of Christmas, you haven’t “bothered” to figure out what you’re giving the most important person in your life; then maybe your priorities are screwed up.
That’s a really awful thing to say about a spouse I know, and granted, some of this sentiment is probably rub off from the feeling that I’ve been very neglected lately since CareerMom started her new job. She’s way more career-oriented than I am and, to her credit, she does work hard. And when I say that I feel neglected, I don’t mean “physically” neglected, mind you, but I do feel as if I’ve been carrying a heavier load of late regarding things around the house and just “home” responsibilities in general.
And then there’s the whole money thing. I save up for Christmas all year so I’m not burdened at the end of the year. CareerMom does not, and she made an offhanded comment about waiting till her check on the 15th (as in December 15th) to see how much she could go spend. And, this was after I gave her some of my Christmas cash to dole out to Daycare teachers and such. Meanwhile, she’s spending gobs on her brother and his wife and has it all planned out and decided on. Yet, she has no idea what she’s getting me???
And so again, I’m feeling like, this Christmas, it’s all on me and it’s honestly just rubbing me very much the wrong way.
Yeah, I know, “Sensitive much?” You’re right, I’m being completely juvenile about it and anyway, isn’t Christmas supposed to be about the other person anyway?
Yes, yes, and yes. Of course, you’re all right. Go ahead, let me have it.