“For it is in Giving that We Receive”, is a well known quote by Francis of Assisi.
My number one rule of thumb for giving is do not expect to receive in return what you have given. During this season we give gifts, sweets, and smiles. We wear ugly Christmas sweaters as ‘jokes’ (We know you secretly like them), and spray Ever Green scents around our plastic tree to make it feel real. You might think that based off my sarcastic tone that I don’t take Christmas very seriously.
Let me tell you how wonderful it is to work at the mall during the Christmas season. First, most people think it starts at Black Friday, you are wrong. Christmas in retail starts as late as Halloween. Therefore, I have to mentally prepare myself for the over abundance of hate I feel toward mindless shoppers. Like an actor warming up for their big speech; I must warm myself to the idea of no sleep. I am forced to shit jolly until I go home and cry to myself. All while taking off my light up Christmas socks. And its not my boss’ fault.
They work harder than I do. No one is happy during the holidays. It shouldn’t be that way. Not even the Santa Claus and let me tell you, nothing is more surreal then running into Santa outside on a smoke break. They get tired of retail bullshit and they only deal with it one time of year. They feel lucky getting paid 26 dollars an hour to sit and act happy. It’s better than getting paid minimum wage and smiling at a bitch Soccer Mom who doesn’t understand that we don’t have anymore clothing in the backroom.
Somehow, the one time of year we are supposed to be nice to our fellow man, we forget part of giving is being a nice person. I sometimes wonder how people would react if they saw how their gifter acquired their gift. I wouldn’t be very thankful if my gifter had made a manager cry in attempt to get 20% off. It would ruin it for me.
Christmas has been all about giving, things. Physical things, wrapped in colorful paper that we later pack into trash bags and shove out to the curb for garbage day. I’m not saying material gifts are a bad way to go. Hell, if anyone wants to buy me a customized gaming PC with duel screens, please, it’s on my Christmas list. Hey, even some nice socks would be nice.
I’m just mentioning the strong emphasis on it. What happened to the small things? I would take a nice memory of sharing hot chocolate with my deceased grandmother over those socks any day. I only get to spend so much time with my family during the holidays. I have school, work, my writing, and cultivating my own life. I honestly forget other people exist sometimes. It’s not that I don’t love them and they aren’t important. We simply put so much emphasis on financial success that if you don’t have something to show for it in the form of a nice gift on the holidays, what’s the point?
We are in a cycle of giving. Your parents give you a nice home, an education, and the tools to succeed (at least to the best of their ability). So in return they want to be reimbursed with things like, grandchildren and weddings. Preferably not in that order. These reimbursements require money, and if you don’t want either of those things. Bring them a nice present is a great way to show your success because in this society, success is measured in Benjamin Franklins.
So, to bring the entire conversation full circle. I don’t think material gifts are so important. I would much rather open a wine bottle and have a fulfilling conversation about memories and good times than the world’s most expensive socks. Even regular Walmart socks. I think everyone is too high stressed during the holidays. They shop all night on Black Friday for pointless material stuff that probably will only last till next Christmas. Instead of focusing on cultivating memories that will last a life time. Until you get Alzheimer’s. Then, I guess you should have just asked for the expensive socks.
Have a Merry Christmas!!