Christmas shopping is difficult.

Growing up I never had to worry about Christmas shopping. I was raised in one of those religions that does not partake in the holidays due to said religion’s attempt to “be no part of the world just as Christ was no part of this world” as it says in…some scripture somewhere, as well as avoiding participation in anything with “EVIL PAGAN ROOTS”. While a great many things forced upon me by that religion went out the window as soon as I left home and subsequently got kicked out of the organization, celebrating christmas really didn’t become a thing for me until Christmas 2010. That was my first real Christmas. I was 25 years old.

Proper participation in this holiday has become a regular and expected thing. My wife LOVES Christmas (though not as much as she loves Halloween) and she wants our son to be raised with that same fondness for the holidays that I lack in every possible way. I do my best to accommodate by not being a grumpy curmudgeon as much as possible and by participating in the gifting ceremony. This year has proven particularly difficult. My in-laws are fairly well off, so it makes someone of limited means feel…well…at a loss when it comes time for giving gifts. I don’t believe in giving gift cards, especially if it’s the only thing you get someone. I have always preferred to give gifts that have at least some inkling of personal meaning to the person receiving the item. How does one go about doing so for individuals who want for nothing? My father-in-law and Brother-in-law are easy. they enjoy some of the finer things I am quite fond of, namely Scotch Whisky and cigars. It’s my mother-in-law and sister-in-law that are difficult. I can’t give my sister-in-law ANOTHER fountain pen for Christmas. I think I’ve played that one out. Every idea I’ve come up with so far for my mother-in-law is out of stock and/or backordered until after Christmas.

So I have spent the last hour sitting behind my keyboard going “AH-HA!” >google search< “There we go” >click< {reads ‘out of stock’} “Fuck” [slams forehead on desk] –repeat-

This is what makes the holidays stressful for me. My job, while not bad, does not pay a sizable salary, so I don’t have a large pool of cash to work with. This limits my options while also keeping me well aware of the ever-shrinking number attached to the balance column of my bank account. I’m sure I’m not the only person who stresses about finances, but the relatable numbers may be significantly smaller if I say the ONLY thing I ever stress over is finances. I’m lucky in that respect, I don’t deny it. But it leaves room in my stress bubble. Room that is easily occupied by the nonsense of the holidays and wanting to give a personal, meaningful gift without wiping out my bank account. This is my version of Mission: Impossible. This is supposed to be a season of happiness, right? Then why is it all anyone ever does is stress out? This is why I still harbor unpleasant feelings for the holiday season. That, and I hate the way people drive when it snows.

2 thoughts on “Happy(?) Holidays

  1. A perfect reason to take up, or improve upon, an existing hobby. Next year you can present gifts made by you, which represent the higher level of meaning that you crave.

    Like

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