I'm just not feeling it this year. Christmas, I mean. Any enthusiasm I'm able to muster is pretty much forced. I'm not entirely sure why it doesn't seem to hold the same excitement for me that it used to, but it just doesn't. I feel badly about it. Christmas should be a magical time.
Maybe it's the weather. I dread winter. I have no interest in dealing with months of snow and cold, and driving on icy roads get old really quick. We've only had a light dusting or two so far, but December marks the beginning of four or five months of bad weather. It's likely colored my outlook on Christmas.
More than that, I think it's that the Christmas push starts earlier and earlier every year. My local supermarket started putting up their holiday displays in September. By now, I've had my fill of Christmas and it hasn't even gotten here, yet.
I find the advertising more obnoxious than usual this year, too. One store is telling you that you shouldn't give any gift that isn't a name brand (so much for that scarf you spent the last month knitting), and another is encouraging you to make a chump out of Santa Claus by out-gifting him. Worst of all, in my opinion, are the advertisements for a certain car company. How many people do you know who can afford to give a $30,000 gift for Christmas? In an incredible stroke of irony, I happened to see that ad just after the commercial for Save Our Strength where they tell you that one in four kids in America goes hungry every day. Puts it in perspective, doesn't it?
We haven't done much of our Christmas shopping yet, and I'm not too psyched to start. Every time we've been in a store lately, it's been a bad experience. In one store, the cashier threw away our gift card (even though it still had money left on it) and then gave us an attitude when she had to go through the trash to retrieve it. In a home improvement store, we left our cart full of wood at the end of the aisle because it was too difficult to maneuver (we're renovating our home office, but that's for another post) and a cashier took it without telling us. When we finally found it, she was pre-ringing our items because she said it would save us time. It's a long story, but in the end, she rang everything up wrong and charged us twice for the whole order. It took an extra 45 minutes to check out and we ended up having to go back to the store to get the second charge removed.
My plan is to do as much of our Christmas shopping online as possible. I'm trying to stay away from the big store's websites and purchase gifts from places like Etsy and Novica, where I can be much more connected to the artisans who create the items they sell. I've also been eyeing the adorable sweet and savory petite bites at Alchemy by Carla Hall (remember her from Top Chef?).
How about you? Are you feeling all warm and fuzzy about the holidays? Where are you doing your Christmas shopping this year?
One thing that always makes me happy and puts me in a festive mood is having a giveaway. Come back tomorrow and I'll announce the fantastic giveaway that I'm having!