coffee pot posts, consumerism, Festivus, voluntary simplicity

Sunday morning coffee pot post

Actually, I wrote a long one yesterday that I lost and didn’t have the heart or the patience to rewrite it.

We are in the middle of the holiday season, which brings out the imp in me, because I love to bug people who love to shop and who hate the phrase “Happy Holidays,” so I try to use it as often as possible.

My favorite holiday of the season is Festivus, celebrated on Dec. 23. From Wikipedia, here is the story of the origin of Festivus according to Frank Costanza.

Frank Costanza: Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.

Cosmo Kramer: What happened to the doll?

Frank Costanza: It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born: a Festivus for the rest of us!

Kramer: That must have been some doll.

Frank Costanza: She was.

Excuse me while I get a tissue. This lovely story gets to me every time.

In our house, after the airing of the grievances, we have to pin Miss Jazz, which makes it a fairly stress-free ritual.

I have not yet erected a Festivus pole, but there are actually such things for sale. Yes, even the sacred holiday of Festivus has been sullied with commercialization. I guess I could buy one of those leg lamps to illuminate it.

I would love to celebrate Buy Nothing Christmas if the others in my family would go for it. Mostly, they have, but we still buy presents for my mother, my grand-nephew, and my brother-in-law. Two of these have been covered.

I don’t mind buying a perfect, unexpected gift for someone but the obligation of having to buy something for somebody on a particular day no matter what really bugs the crap out of me. Especially if they are difficult to buy presents for. My mother usually is a toughie, and will let you know if your present is not up to snuff. It’s more of a respect thing with her, I think. She grew up in the Depression and gifts mean more to her. Fortunately, she told us exactly what she wants this year.

Gifts to charity don’t do it in these cases. Personally, I would love a gift to a worthy organization like Heifer International or Oxfam in my honor.

When people stress over the dozens of gifts that they “have” to buy each Christmas, I thank God that my family has never emphasized “stuff” at Christmas. As kids, we got presents but never loads of stuff. We would much rather get together over a good meal, sometimes in a nice place at the beach, than worry about shopping for each other. We are not rich, but we know that we are blessed, and that is enough.

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