Saturday, November 19, 2011

It's Just Not Magic Anymore

What is it about the holiday season that makes it seem as if the days are barreling down a mountain chasing me as fast as my little legs can run? And why does it start sooner and travel faster every single year?
In all honesty, I planned to write this post in AUGUST.... when I took the blurry cell phone pictures to accompany this post... of CHRISTMAS TREES! My bestie - the shiny happy one - pointed out that these pictures were taken in a store that sells decorations to other retailers so, to her shiny happy point of view, the store I took these in was right on time marketing-wise.
Halloween trees

To my stop-the-world-from-turning-cause-I'm-dizzy point of wasn't the first store I had seen Christmas trees in... It was the THIRD! In AUGUST!

I was fascinated from a decoration point of view but I don't even understand that... I haven't decorated in more than a decade. There never seems to be enough time. It seems pointless to drag all that crap out of the attic to put it up for.. me... and put it back up again. Plus, I'm always going somewhere else... the lot of someone who doesn't have a family of her own.

Maybe it stems back to childhood - my mother always hated Christmas. My sister was equally determined to make it special. In the end, it always seemed to be a tug of war of wills and emotions. Once my sister's nieces and nephews grew up to have their own families and there were no kids around at all, it all got worse. 
I do love peacocks....
I've also come to resent the commercial factors of the season. It's hard work buying and wrapping all that CRAP. And really, most of it is stuff no one wants or needs. I'm trying so hard to clean out my house of all the superfluous junk I've collected that - while I appreciate the sentiment - I really don't need the soap / candles / sweatshirts that I seem to receive in abundance year after year. 

Have I just grown old and turned into a hermit crab? I'm just so sick of this family member not getting along with that one and the arguments over...nothing that really matters. I'm tired of giving and receiving gifts that have no real meaning. I'm tired of pleasing...

I need a little magic. But I'm not sure it exists anymore. I sure haven't felt it in a long time. To me, the most magical thing is feeling connected to someone I love. And yet, year after year, we gift some purchased token to one another and plan to have dinner "when things settle down." Then the very next year, we find ourselves making the same hollow promises. 

Shortly after I took these pictures, I found this photo circulating on Facebook. It was actually taken in 2009... But I like to think the classy Nordstrom's department store is still doing this. If not, I'm glad they had the guts to do it once. 

Do you remember going into the store the day after Thanksgiving (NOT Thanksgiving Day. NOT midnight the morning after!)? It was magic how the store had transformed! I wonder if kids today even notice... Or do they just expect trees in August?
Upside down trees - more room for all the gifts... yay that's great

I know a lot of parents struggle with kids who get too much.  My best friend from childhood comes from a Catholic background. She always told her kids, "Three gifts were enough for Jesus, it's enough for you!" Her list usually involved "something you need, something you want and something just because." And it worked. Her now grown children grew up valuing the things they received and being very generous and thoughtful themselves.

This year, I want the gift of time. Time to check in with friends. Time to really enjoy a moment with someone I love. Time to laugh, time to cry, time to just BE. That would be magic!


Anonymous said...

I LOVE that idea of three gifts! I'm not into Christmas as much either, and all the decorations being trotted out in October makes it worse. Heck, Hallmark had this year's collectible ornaments out in September, I think.

Know what I hate most about "the season"? the endless jewelry store commercials featuring a woman being surprised out of her skull to get diamonds for Christmas, whether it's an engagement ring or a necklace.

Priscilla said...

I'd love to have the gift of time like you; the time for us to enjoy and treasure every moment of our joy and sorrow.

Mango said...

We cancelled gift giving a couple of years ago and everybody seemed to breath a sigh of relief. I really like having the lights up on the house. It makes the house look so happy during the cold winter days. I could do without the inside decorations (and the annual battle with my husband over floor tree or table top tree).

But I am dismayed by the increased shop shop shop mindset. Goodness. If everybody would just slow down and sit back we wouldn't be reading articles about crowd control at Target when they open up at midnight and maybe the retail workers could actually have time with their families.

Mango Momma

Mango said...

P.S. I happen to live near the biggest collection of malls in the area and from Thanksgiving to New Years we have to plan our weekend travels around the mall traffic. Ish.

Linda@VS said...

Beautiful post, Holly. I haven't put up a tree for years. The first year I skipped it because Kadi was a puppy in the chewing stage, and ever since because I didn't miss it one bit that first time.

Maggie Mae said...

We are all for the magic too! :)

Woofs and Licks,
Maggie Mae and Max

24 Paws of Love said...

We are not holiday fans either and really and honestly we feel the same way.

Even though we don't have kids, I LOVE the 3 gift idea! Very, very cool!!

And I agree, TIME, is the best gift.

Hope you find some of that this year. :)