"What did you get for _____?"
I hate it. Why does it have to be about the stuff gotten?
I used to buy into all of it, too.
What was all that stuff even for?
Sure, there was joy in seeing my kid's face light up because they got what they asked for under the tree. And I felt similar joy when I opened the heartfelt gift she got or made for me.
Even though I'm sure I could when I was a kid, I couldn't go back now and list what I got for the last 44 Christmases. Hell, I couldn't even list the last 5.
But I do remember the experiences and the way I felt. And the food of course.
(SEO says I should include a photo with this blog, so enjoy this picture of Travis Snoopy who spent Christmas with me.)
I always remember the food. Christmas is a grazing day where everything is all laid out all day. No set meal time. No pressure to perform at dinner.
I didn't realize it until I typed that sentence, but I always hated all mealtimes because I always felt like I had to perform. Breakfast was the worst because we were always up against the timeclock of the bus.
Wow, now that I am thinking about it... even lunch at school! I prided myself on skipping lunch at school in order to save $180 dollars by the end of the year ($1 per day for lunch, 180 days in the school year) but I woulda skipped anyway.
Mealtimes were a minefield. Oof, that's something I'll have to unpack later.
Ok, so back to experiences. I don't remember the gift of the Spice Girl bike I got D one year for her birthday really. Like I can't remember what it looked like at all (to be fair, that might just be the aphantasia) but I do remember her accidentally finding it before she was supposed to and how excited she was.
Similarly, I remember how seen I felt when she got me a locket my greatest fear inside and it was a hand drawn picture of a fish. It makes me giggle every time I wear it.
The best gift I remember getting in recent times wasn't even on a holiday. It was a random Saturday in Melbourne watching a comedy show. I said how sad I was that I wouldn't get to go see Harmontown before it ended (we were planning a trip in 2020, but they announced the podcast would be ending in 2019). I had tickets before we got home and those tickets turned into the whirlwind weekend trip of my dreams.
And it wasn't a thing that other entity told them to buy. It was an experience for no other reason than it was something we wanted to do.
So, while other people might find my Christmas of 30+ episodes of Christmas TV, I loved every second of it because I was doing exactly what I wanted to do and I didn't feel weird or judged about it.
I'm also a sucker for a handmade card, too, though.