I was in a doctor’s office today. I was waiting , of course, which gave me ample time to browse magazines I’d never otherwise see. One was a “Christmas” edition with these headlines: Great Gifts for Everyone- for $50 and less! Wow. Since when is $50 the bar for everyone’s gifts? And what a “Christmas” message!
We all know that every holiday has been taken hostage by commercialism. But did you know that my dearest widower was aware of this 40+ years ago? He was not going to succumb to advertizing snares, so we barely celebrated Valentine’s Day (“a holiday invented by Hallmark”). When he and I agreed that we’d limit our Christmas spending on each other, he was true to his word; I always rounded down to the nearest hundred. In my mind, saying we wouldn’t buy ANY gifts was nonbinding. It was more like a New Year’s resolution or a phrase like, “See you later!” Maybe, maybe not. We had some melodramatic scenes on Christmas morning, as I revealed the “surprise” presents for him and he made a frantic run to the grocery store. After all these years together, we are no longer fooled by my wishful thinking that he and I view gift-giving in the same way.
Now that I understand the true meaning of Christmas, well, I still love gifts. $50 gifts? Nah. Unless it’s for something techie, of course.