Christmas tends to put me in a weird mood. And no, not just because of the saccharine yuletide cheer (KOSI 101 plays non-stop holiday music each year) or the way the season slouches ever-further up the calendar (they started before Thanksgiving). And it’s not just because I’m working retail now, which gives me a more close-up view of the annual consumer madness that overtakes people. No, I think it’s tied to stuff, and how we always seem to end up with more of it.
Yes, stuff. Go ahead and click the link. It’s worth it; I’ll wait.
Log story short, I always feel weird asking for things. Largely, I think this is because I’m in a point in my life where I can get most of the things I want on my own, without having to inconvenience others. Also, I’ve noticed that the things I do tend to want/need around this time of year tend to be more expensive than I’m comfortable asking for. When you’re a kid, it’s one thing to ask for a few $10 or $20 toys; your tastes tend to match your stature. It’s another thing to ask for a $500 LEGO set or $60 computer game. Especially since I know money has gotten tight for a lot of people over the past few years, myself included.
I guess the whole arms race to show how much you care with your pocketbook also annoys me. The holiday season seems to make us, however involuntarily, monetize our relationships. “Alright, I’m getting N____ a gift worth $X, but what if they find out I got P____ a gift worth $Y? And what about Q____, R____, and S____? This is adding up quick. Oh well, I guess they all get shrinky dinks.” Not a fun game to play.
And just because a post on this blog wouldn’t be complete without a does of self-loathing, I have to wonder if part of my psyche feels I don’t “deserve” gifts, or that I am somehow embarrassing someone when I tell them I “want something” from them.
I realize that I’m probably missing the point of the season, and some of these reasons may be more than a little neurotic (that last one, especially). In fact, I’d love to be proven wrong. But I’ve been working seven days straight (since Black Friday) and am trying to hold off a Funk. I’m a bit broody, and the holiday is getting harder to escape and/or ignore.
And that’s why I haven’t written a Christmas list yet.