While trying to get to the hair salon today, normally a five-ten minute ride, I sat in traffic, creeping along at a pace that added twenty additional minutes to my trip.
I don’t know why I was surprised. It’s the day before the day before Christmas. Christmas Eve Eve. And everyone is going mad.
As it happens, today is also Festivus. This Seinfeldian holiday, Frank Costanza’s answer to the hyper commercialization of the holiday season, is rather relevant to me this year.
Now, I’m no Grinch. I love Christmas, and I love giving and receiving presents. I even love shopping in all of the madness.
This year, Mike kept asking me to think of something “fun,” that I wanted for Christmas, something special that would make me very excited/happy.
“What about a hobby? Is there something you want to try?” he said when I came up with nothing.
“What kind of hobby?”
“I don’t know. What is it that you’d like to do. You know, just for you. For entertainment?”
“You mean besides napping and going to Panera?”
Shopping. Reading. Writing. Baking. And…? Why don’t I have any cool hobbies, I wondered. In truth, I don’t have much time for the aforementioned activities, so I can’t imagine trying something new to the list. Not now, anyway.
I can seldom think of anything particular that I’d like to receive for Christmas. First, my birthday is in early December, so I often use that opportunity to ask for whichever must-have item I’m currently coveting. Like many women, I gravitate towards purses, jewelry and clothes, but I don’t think that’s what Mike was looking for this year in terms of suggestions. He wanted to get me something special, but I had no idea how to set him in the right direction. When we started talking about it further, we realized that we are both such rabid consumers, that we’ve maxed out on the potential, reasonably-non-debt-producing-gifts we could buy one another.
In short, we are part of the reason why Festivus was invented.
Every year, I go into a shopping frenzy around the holiday season, and every year, I fret that I haven’t bought just the right presents or that I haven’t done enough gift-wise. Like most of the people on the road this afternoon rushing to the mall and the grocery store and every where else, I spent my time behind the wheel going over and over my list, wondering if I had time to make just one more stop.
I was so preoccupied, I couldn’t even focus on an audio book.
Even though I take great pleasure in giving presents, the reason I adore Christmas so much is because I get to enjoy spending time with people I care about the most. That’s the side of the holiday that I want Jude to cherish.
I don’t want him to say:
“My mom is a shopping maniac every holiday.”
Instead, I want him to think:
“My mom always loves Christmas, and that’s why it’s the best day of the year.”
I will never give up my mall-going ways, but perhaps I can learn to infuse a little bit of Festivus into our festivities each year just to balance things out–minus the Feats of Strength and the Airing of Grievances, of course.
Happy Festivus, everyone!