Many people lament the commercialization of the holiday season (e.g., here and here), so I thought I’d chime in on the subject. I completely understand that retailers’ bottom lines are wholly irrelevant to the holiday spirit, but what often seems to get lost in the complaints is that giving a gift that brings joy is a joy in itself.
I know a lot of people are happy to receive T-shirts with their grandchildren’s handprints, homemade baked goods, and family-photo calendars, and you don’t need to shop much for these items. But there must be at least as many people whose eyes will light up at a flattering sweater, comfy pajama pants, or a DVD of a much-loved movie. For the last four years or so, I have derived infinite pleasure from picking out a new cashmere sweater for Marc and knowing that he really really liked it. (But not this year, because we’re on a tighter budget!) I can understand that if you don’t enjoy shopping, this time of the year must feel like a long nightmare, but I, for one, actually love coming up with great gifts at bargain prices that I know the recipients will appreciate. I can’t even begin to imagine the fun that Marc and I are going to have buying toys for Alex when he can actually play with them and doesn’t think that everything is made for his mouth.
I think that lately it’s become chic to complain about the lack of holiday spirit, and un-chic to actually celebrate the holidays. But this is my favorite time of year, and I love giving gifts, receiving gifts, spending time with family and friends, eating good food, and generally just being joyful. So I’ll be celebrating as much as I can. I hope you do, too, and that your holiday season is full of joy as well!