Sunday, December 20, 2009

parties, gifts and holidays.

The economic downturn has taken a hit on the Harmon family. My brother-in-law works for AIG or some subsidiary therein (I'm not exactly sure how or what he does, but in the grand scheme of things, he gets his paycheck from AIG). I came out here to visit them and my mother, who lives with them. We've decided this year to NOT buy any Christmas presents. It was a decision I was, and am, happy with. There is no shopping, no crowds, no disappointment at not getting what you want, or worse, being able to give what you'd like.

My niece, Juliete, was born one year ago today. My sister is planning a first birthday party for her tomorrow, but trying to do it on a budget they can afford. Seeing the amount of effort and worry that has been transfered from Christmas to this first birthday is saddening. Holidays, birthdays and parties are supposed to be about fun and family and enjoyment. I don't mean that in the trite kind of lip-service sense either, I mean it quite literally. After spending a year without holidays (or, with holidays on paper, but no real holiday "cheer" to speak of, I can see this more clearly now. If we never give presents for any holiday again, I'll be happy.

My grandmother is in the hospital and near-death and I can't be there. Her last surviving children, however, are able to be there with her this Christmas. There is no talk amongst them of presents or cakes or parties...being together is enough. It should be like that for all of us, all the time.

I don't know if this is ironic or not, but I think presents are overrated for the Holidays, but underrated the rest of the year. What I mean by that is...if the 25th of December is a good time to give someone a card or present or phone call, then any day is. There's nothing at all wrong with giving someone a small present on the 2nd of June to say, "hey, you're a great person and I'm glad you're in my life." So...that's what I'll do. No more Christmas presents, but if I see something that makes me think, "oh man, my sister would love this" sometime in June, I'll get it and give it to her wrapped nicely with a card that says, "you're the best." What I won't do is create any further undue and unnecessary least, that's my plan.


Post a Comment

<< Home