Sunday Question – How Are You Handling The Holidays?

December might as well be nicknamed “holiday month” because most religions have something going on during this time. Not to just single out Christmas, but we have Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Al Hijra, Ashura, Boxing Day, Gita Jayanti, and Día de los Muertos. I’m sure there are others, but we’ll go with these for now.

Holidays bring both joy and stress. Truthfully, most of the time the Christmas season stresses me out because, as an independent businessman, I know that my normal businesses are going to dry up during this time, and the slow down of course takes money out of my pocket.

The lucky thing for my wife and I is that we don’t buy many Christmas presents. We don’t often buy anything for each other; instead, we’ll usually plan something special for after the holidays. A couple of years ago we went for an overnight in a hotel with a Jacuzzi in the room and watched comedy DVD’s; that was really nice. There are a few people we get something for, but we don’t spend a lot of money.

How do most of you feel about the holidays in general? How are you handling the crowds, the over-commercialization of it all? Is your religion primary during this time of year or are you just enjoying the general holiday feel? I hope this is an easy question for you, but of course one never knows.

3 Glass Blown Hanukkah Chanukah Menorah, Dreidel & Star of David Ornaments

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24 thoughts on “Sunday Question – How Are You Handling The Holidays?”

  1. This year, I have made it a point to tell my four-year-old grandson the truth–there is NO Santa Claus. I don’t want him to get it in his head that if he is good all year, some nice white fat man will come and bring him presents. It just doesn’t seem right. He knows we buy the gifts and that, in my opinion, is the way it should be. I could go further into this but I will save it for a blog post of my own 🙂

    My husband terminated his job a few months ago so things are extremely tight financially right now. We are just happy to be together because last year and every other year prior to that during our marriage, we have lived apart because his job was in another state.

    1. Bev, my wife said that if we’d have a child she wouldn’t have let me lie about Santa Claus either, although I still would have. Not that I always bought the legend either, but I think there’s an age at which stories like that aren’t so harmful to children. I hope your holidays are great ones, now that your husband will be home for once.

  2. We try not to get caught up in it anymore. It’s a nice few days, but as far as gifts, we just don’t need more stuff. As you said, spending some real time with the people you care about is the best gift, anyway.

    1. Charles, we buy stuff we need during the year, but sometimes we can get some nice surprises during the holidays, things we’d never expect. For instance, one of my friends last night gave me a lava lamp; I’ve always wanted one of those, but had no real idea where to get one, and I’m not sure I’d have ever purchased one for myself. Looking at it now and enjoying it!

  3. Hi Mitch,

    I’ve got so many kids, that this month is obviously a bit of a bit deal around our house. Fortunately, I’m lucky to have a wife who takes care of most of the gift shopping … lol, even to the point that when my mom calls to thank me for her present, I have to quick go ask Ana what we got for her.

    I suppose in some ways, it can be a little stressful. But then again, there are priceless moments in there too. For instance, today, my 2-year old, Jaiden, went shopping with me to get a present for mommy … smiling and talking about it the whole time. For me, that’s what the holiday is all about. 🙂

    1. That’s so cute, Todd. I’m with you, holidays are for kids. Maybe that’s a part of why they don’t mean as much to me, and if that’s the case it’s sad.

  4. We’ve done the same thing, Allan. My wife likes putting things together for people instead of going out buying lavishly. I’m with her on that one.

  5. Personally I don’t like holiday season. It is completely different when I was a kid, but now, all my works nearly stops, payments are getting slower during Christmas holidays, a lot of calls from family and friends. However, I like the Christmas shopping as it is a good excuse to buy some of latest “boys toys”.

  6. Actually this will be the first Christmas break I’ve had in 22 years so I am really looking forward to it. Christmas shopping doesn’t stress me out at all as I leave it up to the wife. Seems the logical thing to do as we all know how women love to shop 😉

      1. Why not, it’s the truth. Everyone knows that women love to shop. If it wasn’t a fact all the husbands in the world would be rich 😀

      2. Actually, my wife hates shopping. She loves buying when she knows what she wants, but she hates going out just looking at stuff without any intention of buying.

  7. Hi Mitch

    Christmas is a special time for me, being a Christian it does have significance.

    However, I hate the commercialism. Giving to people who have a lot, to have even more! I’ve scaled back over the years, only buy for special friends who are like family to me and my immediate family.

    Don’t go over the top with the gifts. Would rather give to the needy as we all have so much. My friends don’t tell their children about Santa. They tell the Christmas story instead as they are believers like me.

    I remember a friend’s daughter getting really angry when she found out Santa wasn’t for real. Asked her parents why they had lied to her?! If you go to some countries they ask why we don’t just stick to the Nativity story. I agree.

    I know there are those who don’t believe and Santa is their answer to the festivities. Just not mine.

    Patricia Perth Australia

    1. Pat, I’m a non-believer, but I was never overly big on Santa except for cartoons; they don’t count. I think Christmas became a big deal so almost everyone could participate instead of just Christians.

  8. For me, the stress of all the preparation and shopping is all worth it when I see my kids’ and my wife’s happy faces upon receiving their presents. I also make sure to spend a great deal of time with my family during the Christmas holidays, so that’s the presents and the bonding covered.

    Happy Holidays to you and yours, Mitch!

    – Wes –

  9. Mitch,

    I love xmas holiday! the important thing that i really feel is the togtherness, baking cookies together, decorating tree together, that’s soooooo nice feeling in my opinion, it is because in the week we are rare to be together for long time, everyone is busy with school/work.

    though i feel difficulties blogging with xmas holiday, but indeed, it is so awesome that i can still celebrate it,



    1. Kimi, I think you can blog sparsely during the holidays and no one would mind all that much. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

  10. I too have planned a trip after the holidays, and it involves a big swimming pool 🙂 I hate the crowds, but like the atmosphere, so home is the best place to go for Christmas. Regarding presents, this year i have difficulties i getting some, because i don’t have so much time, but i won’t buy something expensive. Small gifts for friends/colleagues and sister – including some chocolate will do the trick.

    The best part is that i won’t be cooking this year, my sis will prepare the Christmas dinner this time 🙂

    1. That sounds like a wonderful holiday season, Mia. And someone else cooking is always nice. Enjoy the water!

  11. Personally, I absolutely love Christmas and just about everything about it. What’s worse, I am an atheist of the most reductionist type. However, that’s done nothing to dampen my holiday enthusiasm.

    Christmas really is more about a feeling than gifts, but the gifts are an important part of the overall experience.

    Nothing can ever compare to all the memories I have of Christmas’ past; trudging through two feet of snow, feet frozen and more snow piling up by the minute while I spend hours hiking through the woods to find the perfect tree. Or perhaps the time I actually managed to come up with a decent gift idea by taking all of my mothers old super 8 films, taken when her dad was still alive and we were tiny little monsters,that were in the process of falling apart and which she had not seen in over 20 years, and having them all transferred to disk. That’s one of the only times I’ve seen Mom cry in a good way.

    Or the time I went 110% Clark Griswold and turned my house into a fire mashall’s nightmare. They’re probably still pulling the staples out of the roof to this day.

    The experiences are what makes it so great. From the insanity of the shopping to the kids driving you nuts while you stand on a ladder and try not to fry yourself with 120 volts, it’s all just too good to pass up.

    This year we are sore pressed for cash, and will literally be doing all of our shopping the 21st through the 24th. (My writing gigs were timed just right, I got paid 5 days before Xmas) I’ll be a broke nervous wreck afterwards, and wouldn’t trade any of it for anything;)

    Merry Christmas folks.

    1. Hi Paul. You’re right, the overall meaning of the holiday, more the “feel good” part of it, does seem to outweigh most everything else. I have to admit, though, that for years I was depressed at Christmas time, and thus it moved way down my list. I still loved some specials, but not much else. I have mixed feelings now, but I’m going with the good one today and I’m listening to the music.

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