Christmas Letdown

I had some interesting thoughts about Christmas this year, but I didn’t want to post them until after the holiday is over, you know, didn’t want to burst anyone’s bubble or anything.  But if you are feeling some Christmas letdown, or the holiday wasn’t what you’d hoped it would be, maybe these thoughts are for you! (and I am not let down, I just chose to observe Christmas this year for the most part, and do some strategic thinking about it!)

Why do we “do” Christmas anyway?  I loved driving around this year, looking at the Christmas lights, both downtown Ames and in Ogden, and around various neighborhoods.  I love getting out the Christmas CD’s, listening and singing along to old favorites, making Christmas cards (I just love snail mail in general), remembering decorating cookies with my family.  I LOVE color, and Christmas affords lots of that.  I don’t like shopping so much, and I am a terrible gift giver.

But oh I love the wrapping paper!

A lot of the reason we do Christmas is because it is expected, it’s the thing to do, everyone else is doing it, right?  But let’s be honest, there is a lot of stupidity to Christmas too.  I just pondered that a lot this year as I drove around looking at the signs of Christmas.  Maybe some of it has to do with being a “real” researcher now, at least I’ve graduated and written a thesis.  I am supposed to think about what we as a society and culture do, why we do it and whether or not we should be doing it.


So if we really looked at Christmas as a holiday celebrated and came to the conclusion that it isn’t a good thing for the world, could we give it up?  Should we?  I’m going to try to write about that this week as I reflect and get ready for a new year!  Are you with me on this mind journey?!  🙂


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    I rather like the way our family celebrated Christmas growing up. Although we were Christian, Christmas was not a Christian holiday for us, with the scrambling of pagan, Santa gimme-gimme and baby Jesus traditions. It was just a family holiday with the emphasis on family getting together, everyone baking cookies and making candy, and kids receiving a few well-chosen, not necessarily expensive gifts.
    On Christmas eve, we kids usually got one main gift, such as a doll buggy or chemistry set or spy kit, which Mom undoubtedly had snagged on sale during the year and perhaps talked up so we’d want it. Then there were some really cool little gifts such as socks and shoes and homemade clothes for our older dolls, which we always bathed and dressed and rouged for the holidays. Or less, um, feminine toys. The adults in our family did not feel obligated to give gifts to each other. We kids did not receive clothes, which went on sale in those days AFTER Christmas and which we frankly would have considered tacky gifts anyhow.
    I feel sorry for guys who have to try to buy gifts for their wives today. I’ve heard of women getting really upset if their husbands buy something like a waffle iron. Personally I do not want my husband buying my lingerie and would love a waffle iron. Dad didn’t buy Mom a gift at that time of year, but he was always generous about buying her good equipment for her office or her home whenever she wanted it. Once he told her he needed her to go to the farm store with him because he’d get a free flashlight if he brought his wife in. So she went along, knowing how much he loved a freebie or a bargain, and he bought her one of those new fangled expensive microwave ovens. Now I’d call that true present and a true surprise.
    This year I gave my husband a very nice shirt and a book, both “new” from the second-hand store. He ended up buying me a new printer when I sent him to the store to buy some printer ink. Son, who we won’t see until Dec. 29, will get some new clothes bought at the great sales lately and a camera to replace the once that’s literally held together with duct tape. My sister and I almost compete to spend the least amount of money. On Dec. 29, she’ll get a couple of blouses. All the nieces and nephews, some who have birthdays in early January, get books from the big warehouse sale. I still wear the apron one of them made me from two placemats, one placed north and south and one east and west with ribbons at the neck and waist.
    I don’t think any of our gifts will be returned.

  2. 2

    […] In my last post, I asked the question, partly from a researcher’s point of view, “Why do we DO Christmas?”  As I was driving around this year gawking at the pretty twinkle lights and singing along with Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire for the 5th time in one short drive, I realized that part of the attraction might just be the build up to something that is  out of our ordinary routine. […]

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