Moment of truth: neither can I.
I haven’t felt any holiday spirit at all this year, and it’s solely because this is the first year of my adult life where I cannot afford Christmas gifts for my family and friends. Christmas used to be attached to this magic of a religious miracle and now it just feels like this intense pressure to reward your loved ones for doing what they’re supposed to do, which is be in your life.
I don’t live extravagantly, I don’t get Starbucks or shop at Whole Foods. I literally have no extra money to put away for anything except living every single day. And I know so many people in my same stage in life who are living the same way. Rent is high, the competition for good jobs is high, and the stress of just trying to be independent is sometimes overwhelming. Welcome to adulthood, right? And they expect us to contribute to the economy, LOL, nah bro I’d rather feed my dog but thanks.
I’ve come to the very sad realization that all of my Christmas cheer came from gifting monetary things to people. I feel guilty that I can’t provide this weird yearly ritual that everyone’s grown so accustomed to. The thing I’ve dreaded the most is sitting around the tree with my family tomorrow morning and opening gifts and having nothing to give to anyone in return.
In an effort to live more authentically, I’ve also come to realize that Christmas doesn’t quite sit well with my soul. I’m not an overly zealous Christian, I can’t tell you the last time I picked up a bible, or attended a church service. And without that celebration of the religious events, it just feels like another consumer-driven holiday where we are meant to believe through elaborate marketing schemes that showing love means buying things. It’s starting to feel like another Hallmark holiday where you go through the motions of it because you think that’s what you’re supposed to do.
In the last year, I’ve had a new appreciation for life and my loved ones and I’ve made it part of my daily life to stay in touch with them. I tell them I love them every time we talk and make sure they know I support them in every crazy thing that happens in life. But for some reason, this time of year it doesn’t feel like enough. If you can relate to any or all of these feelings, I have a secret to share with you.
No one gives one singular shit that you cannot get them a Christmas gift. And if they do, they have no place in your life. Unless you’re celebrating the religious side of Christmas, and you do that whole-heartedly (not just because “you have to go to church on Christmas”), then it’s literally only one day out of the year. I’d rather focus on being a good friend, daughter, girlfriend, sister, etc. on the other 364 days of the year.
Giving a Christmas gift doesn’t prove anything to your loved ones. They already love you. The best gifts you can give them is your attention, support, memories, and love. Giving them your energy is truly the greatest gift of all. While you’re with your friends and family today and tomorrow focus on being present, authentic, and happy and it will be a day to remember.
So this year, I bought a package of cards at the store and wrote personalized notes to everyone about how important they are in my life and how much I love them, and I’ve decided that that sits well with my soul.
Merry Christmas fam’, thanks for joining my journey thus far, I’m always sending my love out to you.