Since Mike and I aren’t doing Christmas presents this year, it doesn’t really feel like December. With the chill in the house in the mornings, the frost on my car, the general drudgery of the days, and the sun being down when I leave work, it feels more like January than just before Christmas.
My family has never been one for huge amounts of Christmas presents. But I have to admit, it gives me a little twinge to know that Mike and I are not doing anything. I like both giving and receiving presents, and it’s weird to feel completely out of touch with the rest of the country. All those ads, all that shopping? I have no reason to go to Target or the mall or to Friendly Center. People keep asking me if I’ve gotten my shopping done, and I’m like, “Yeah, I guess so!” Shopping? It’s not really on my radar right now.
We’ve been enjoying the regular Christmas things, like putting up the tree, reading for Advent, drinking lots of hot chocolate, and listening to Christmas music nonstop. I piled Christmas books under our tree so that it didn’t look so bare. We hung the stockings on my card catalog even though we’re not putting anything in them.
I hate to admit that presents are such a huge part of my Christmas routine, but it appears that they are, because their absence leaves a hole in the season. Not an enormous hole, but a hole nonetheless. I hope I will be able to look back on this Christmas with joy and a new understanding of the Incarnation. I hope some of my materialism ekes away. It’s hard to face up to materialism, especially when money is tight and all you can see are things you can’t afford. Most of all, I hope that somehow this year will allow me to reflect on what I have and be thankful for it, rather than focusing on what I don’t have.