Since this summer, my husband has been trying to get me to agree to do a no-shop Christmas this year. That means that we would not go shopping for presents so as to not feed the commercialism that has overtaken our society. Truly, for the longest time I thought it was a way for my husband to not deal with giving gifts since it’s a very stressful thought for him to have to think about buying things for others. I thought this was his way out. Of course, I knew that he also wanted to “unplug” from the “machine” but more than that I figured it was his way out of what I saw as a duty.

He kept at it though, and was constantly trying to get me to agree to it. I came to the point where I said, “Okay, we’ll do a no-shop Christmas, but that doesn’t mean no gifts.” I kept holding on to the idea of gift-giving since well I could see how shopping and focusing on shopping could be a terrible distraction to the holiday, but because I have always viewed gift-giving as a good thing I didn’t want to erase that aspect of what I knew to be a part of Christmas. Afterall, Christmas is about the greatest gift known to mankind. However, I realized that we could give gifts at any time during the year and have the extra time around Christmas to focus on the ONE TRUE GIFT.

So a few days before Christmas I asked him if it would be okay if we did a giftless Christmas. Afterall, not only does it remove the distraction of findidng everyone gifts (don’t get me wrong here, I love finding and giving gifts) but it also allows for us to be different in that sense and take a step back and out of the commercialism that is today’s society and today’s view on Christmas.

I have decided that I don’t want my children to grow up looking forward to what they’ll get on Christmas, but to what they could learn and feel and how they could portray that in their everyday lives. I want them to remember the truth of the holiday and why we celebrate it, with nothing to get in the way of that truth – like greed. It’s just too easy for kids to get caught up in what they want and what they think they should get, what they think they deserve because everyone else got one too. I just don’t want them to be focused on that.

I looked forward to the gifts on Christmas, that’s for sure, but I never really focused on them because we were poor and I knew we weren’t really going to get everything we wanted. At most we got 3-4 presents, and that includes extended family. I mean, to me that’s just not what Christmas was about. Plus, we didn’t grow up believing in Santa, so that made things a lot easier. My husband, on the other hand, got a ton of cool gifts when he was a child and then one year started getting the (what he thought was) crappy socks and underwear gifts and was totally disillusioned in the holiday. To this day he has a hard time enjoying it.

So I think this is how I want our family to be. I know it will be hard and that I’ll definitely be in the minority with my views, but I think they’ll last because they’re based on something good.