Justin Tadlock

My Christmas Check

I went home (where I grew up) on Friday and Saturday to see my cousin who had drove down from Ohio to visit. However, this is not the story I will relate today.

Before I left to come back to my home in Auburn, my mom gave me a check and told me to buy my Christmas presents because she couldn’t find anything on my list. Yes, I’m 22, and I still have a Christmas list.

This is not by choice.

Every year, my grandmother and mother are always asking for a complete list of things I want. I usually respond with, “Surprise me,” or “Whatever you think I need.” Ultimately, I have to hand over a list of things (my dad and stepmom check out my Amazon Wish List).

At some point in the last few years, I guess I must’ve realized that Christmas gifts will never be the same as they were when I was a kid. I don’t feel like I have a good list to give them. It’s usually just a few books and DVDs. Nothing really special.

And I feel like Christmas has become so much more of a commercialized holiday for me by handing out carefully prepared lists (I wouldn’t want two of the same thing), even if I do have that Amazon Wish List, at this age.

I don’t much care what gifts I get for Christmas anymore because most of the material things that I want, I’ll probably purchase myself at some point.

Barbara Ehrenreich wrote in her Time article, Fight for Your Right to Party,

Forget the PlayStations, the Barbie-mobiles, the catalogs and camp-outs in Wal-Mart parking lots. Give, if you will, to the needy, and let the pine trees live. Instead, rent the local V.F.W. hall or a hotel ballroom, deck it with boughs of holly, and invite the entire town for a vast blowout. O.K., it won’t bring world peace. But if we have this primordial capacity for collective joy, why not put it to use?

I think Ehrenreich is on to something. What if we just let go of the commercialization of Christmas for at least, possibly, a weekend and have a little fun?

I certainly wasn’t one of these people in a fight over the cool, new PS3 (I’m rooting for the Wii anyway). And I know that event has been trampled over by bloggers worldwide 100s of times over now, but is this what Christmas has come to?

I honestly didn’t want to start blogging about the commercialization of Christmas, but my mind wonders a bit sometimes.

I guess I could use the money my mom gave me to throw some sort of a holiday shindig and spread a little Christmas cheer. Or, I could click on over to Amazon and buy something for myself.

Amazon Wish List, here I come!

I can’t help it. It’s money I can spend on myself. Spread holiday cheer? What a crazy idea.