Intermittent Christmas


The trouble with Christmas is that it just comes around too darn often.  Seems like no time since it was here  and now here it is again.  The decorations barely have time to get dusty before it is time to drag them down from the attic again.  Wouldn’t everybody enjoy celebrating a whole lot more if we could do it less often – say, every other year?

Wouldn’t it be great to have a year off – a year when we didn’t have the pressure and stress of gifts to buy, decorations to put up and money to spend, spend, and spend?  The official line we get is that merchants depend on Christmas spending for a large part of their yearly profit. Without it, they would all go broke. And we buy into this well-contrived merchandizing scheme and rush to join the traffic jam at the mall, as if there is no next year.  A large part of the consumer excessive indebtedness is probably due to over spending for Christmas.

Everybody complains about it – but like the weather and country music, nobody does anything about it. Think how nice it would be to know that we had next season to look forward to instead of a season to hurry up and get through.  I know you’re thinking I have the wrong attitude here.  I need to relax and just back off.  Hard to do when the dang Christmas cards start coming (Was this person on my list?), the office party is announced (Sign up to bring a covered dish.), holiday party invitations come (RSVP please), and commercials on TV urge us to “Buy now!  Get it in time for Christmas!”

With the greed festival beginning three months early the way it does, there is too little time out. Call me a scrooge, but I’ve cut back my celebrating in self-defense.  No more of this deck the halls to the hilt stuff for me. I’ve reevaluated my priorities and decided my sanity is worth more than buying unwanted gifts for similarly pressured other folk.   What happened to Christmas spirit?

Celebrating every second year would be better.  It would give us a breather.  No need to do away with the holiday entirely, just observe it less frequently, that’s all.  There are, of course, other possibilities.  Some advocate returning to the simple celebrations of times past.  Others advocate the giving of homemade gifts.  Still others suggest that we celebrate the religious aspects of the season rather than making it into a commercial buying fest of life changing proportions.

Only the really true scrooges among us say tear the month of December off the calendar and just do away with it entirely.  Once a tradition is established, it seems difficult to regress back to the way things use to be.

I have thought and thought about it. I’m not so anti-Christmas that I want to do away with it, though the temptation to just say “the heck with it” is great.  The intermittent Christmas seems like a perfect solution to me.  Celebrate every two years instead of every year.  We can still have our celebration, but we don’t have to indulge so frequently.

Yes, I think I could learn to live with an intermittent Christmas. Merchants undoubtedly would launch a lobby and protest due to deprivation of profit.  The warm, fuzzy folk will probably rebel and celebrate anyhow like the veterans did when their holiday was changed .

I have re-evaluated my priorities and attempted to simplify my own observation of the holiday.  I really abhor what Christmas has become.  I have tried to make it a season of doing, rather than a season of buying.  Even so, the materialistic expectations of others can be difficult to deal with.

I know it will never happen, the Christmas-less-often idea.  But I can dream, can’t I. And you can be sure of one thing – I won’t be dreaming of a white Christmas…. Except on alternate years, perhaps.

Copyright 1999 Sheila Moss

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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5 Responses to Intermittent Christmas

  1. energywriter says:

    Good idea. Then our family could separate our overwhelming December birthdays on the alternate years. Five birthdays plus Christmas all in one month is mentally paralyzing for me. I did the birthday shopping this morning. Still need to think about Christmas gifts. sd

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve tried to stop the buying but even when we all agree there are no gifts, someone will give me a gift! Ack! I used to feel obligated. Now I just think “sucker!” Most of the time (unless it’s a Starbucks gift card) it ends up in the donation pile anyway. How many scarves can a person wear? Especially one who can’t stand to have her neck wrapped. Merry Christmas (that will be good for 2 years!)

    Liked by 1 person

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