My husband and I celebrate Christmas our own way. We sort of mirror my favorite Christmas movie, A Charlie Brown Christmas. A few years ago we decided to stop buying gifts for people. Also, we stay home for Christmas and no longer visit with family. It all started on a Christmas day at my mom's house - there were so many presents in the living room, you could not walk into it. The both of us saw how stressed everyone was and the sense of obligation that people feel suffocates me. I don't want anyone to feel obligated to buy me something or do something for me. If they do, the act loses its meaning. I hate the commercialization of Christmas and it breaks my heart to see the people I care about stressed out. That defining Christmas, no one ever mentioned the wonder of Jesus Christ or God's mercy. It was all about gifts and obligations. Neither my husband nor I could take it any longer - we weren't being authentic by feeding into the frenzy.
The first year we stayed home felt weird and my family did not understand. We've had to deal with hurt feelings and disappointment. I completely understand where others are coming from. Society defines what is normal and when one deviates from that, they are ostracized. I love my family and friends. It is because I care for them that I don't buy them gifts - they have one (two counting my husband) less person to stress about during the holidays. I'd rather show my appreciation for them through acts of random kindness during the year - I don't want to define my relationships by material things. I really feel that the overindulgence of material things and stress during Christmas overpowers the true meaning of the day.
My husband and I decorate our house and we have a tree. I'm sending my family a gift that I made, we bought an elderly couple we know gifts, I bought the little boy I mentor a couple of things (one was a Charlie Brown Christmas book) and my husband and I did buy each other one thing that we really wanted that we've been using for about a week now. For Christmas day, I made my husband a surprise gift and he's still working on mine that he's making. We are not stressed out one bit. I think that we will get up early and walk around downtown before the tourists come out and we might even go fishing. Our turkey that we are going to cook will feed us for a week and we'll watch another favorite Christmas movie, It's a Wonderful Life. We did buy Floyd a big bag of Beggin' Strips and we'll definitely take a long walk on the beach.
I'm happy that people celebrate Christmas their own way as I know everyone is different. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and blessed day full of joy, relaxation and reflection.