Many of you reading this (thank you if you are! Reading my pieces are the best gift I could receive) will think I’m a heartless asshole who doesn’t understand the true spirit of giving. You very well may be right. If I celebrated Christmas, I may feel entirely different. Many of you love Christmastime because it means spending time with your family, enjoying the exchange of gifts because it is a result of the love your family has for each other. I don’t mean to shit all over that; I am not really even directing this to you. I am envious of you, I hope that you get to spend every Christmas with your family in that way for the rest of your life.
What I do know for sure is that I’m a cynic who sees the holidays as a mass display of capitalism and consumerism (really stores? You are now opening on the midnight after Thanksgiving Day?!). I’ve also been around too many people complaining about how stressed they are because they have so much shopping to do before the holidays and they HAVE to get presents for everyone. Really? They HAVE to? I say get rid of the stress, just give up the gift exchange. Spend the money visiting your friends and family at a time later in the year and travel prices aren’t crazy.
So, if you are especially broke around the holidays, which by reading this (again, thanks for that gift!) you likely are, consider laying down the no-present rule with friends and family. Not just to save money, but to save some stress and large crowds. Save your money to use throughout the year on people. Take them out to dinner after a job promotion…make a surprise visit to your parents in April…or even use the money to pay your rent so you won’t have to rely on others later.
It may be a big change for you and your family, but declaring a “present free” holiday is a surefire way to save money, so it’s worth a try.
Now don’t even get me started on how I feel about Thanksgiving….