Betmo posted an open commentary thread about the holidays, and it got me thinking. I didn't comment there, because I was thinking in paragraphs, not little bits.
She posits, as have many before her, that the holidays are too materialistic here in the "Land of Freedom and Democracy", and that in other places they also celebrate similar holidays but without the "Greed".
So I started thinking about this.
First off, I am thinking that perhaps it is not "greed" that is the motivating force. Ok, now that I've pissed you all off - let me explain. Yes, the little children exhibit a greedy desire for lots of presents. Fuck, who doesn't love lots of presents? Opening all those little packages and finding inside the things you would love to buy for yourself but cannot justify - is FUN. But is this really why we fling presents at one another at times when things should be quiet and loving?
Or is it because we've lost touch on how to show love to one another without flinging a gift at them? "Helzberg Diamonds - show her you'd marry her all over again". "How can you tell him you love him? With a gold watch... a new car... a set of power tools from Sears..."
How about trying something really amazing - TELL HIM YOU LOVE HIM. SAY THE WORDS TO HER. Nah. That's too hard.
And it really IS too hard. It's EASY to fling a present. It's HARD to actually say "I love you" to someone you love. My Dad has never been the huggy type - not a demonstrative sort at all. Ever since Mom died, I've made a specific point of telling him "I love you" whenever I end a phone call, or when I show up and leave his place down in Florida. It's hard, because he really didn't know how to deal with it, and I would usually get a "Uh, yeah, ok" kind of response.
But lately he's been responding "Yah, I love you too" - which is something I really can't remember him doing a lot while I was growing up. Reticent German Immigrant family values, I suppose. I'll fling him a gift, but it will have a card that really says what I feel attached. I'm not 100% brave yet. *sheepish grin*
Flinging a present at someone is the easy-way-out, it's the way to say "I care about you" without actually having to voice it - and it allows you to FAKE admiration or a more tender emotion with people whom you really cannot STAND, but have to maintain a relationship, like your great-aunt Sylvia with the bad teeth and disgusting cole-slaw, or the woman down at work who seems determined to get you in trouble for her own amusement. A present looks like you're caring, even though you're just flinging money at the problem instead of solving it.
So where am I going with this? I don't know. I do know that this year isn't going to be just about gifts. I will get some, of course, for the people whom I wish to acknowledge in that manner - or am so far away that I can't possibly tell them face-to-face (over the phone is even MORE awkward for me!). Things I specifically want to give to certain people that I love, and to co-workers whom I feel comfortable with. But I think the people I love will get something extra. A special card inside just telling them how special they really are to me.
No partriges. No pear trees. And most especially - NO LORDS A LEAPING!!!
It snowed buckets in the pacific northwest yesterday, according to Lea. I hope nobody got hit with a bucket. That would hurt.
Have a WONDERFUL day, folks - I'm outty.