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  1. #21

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    I don't celebrate Christmas, but since I don't celebrate any holidays I've never had a problem with people respecting that. They don't have to worry that I'm being passive aggressive when I say no presents -- they know I'm serious, because my opinion about Christmas is the same as it is about every other organized holiday.

    But I figure the flip side of asking people to respect my feelings is that I also need to respect theirs.

    The holiday matters to my mom and her husband. Who cares why? It just does. I buy them presents and keep my mouth shut about my anti-commercial feelings -- out of respect for their wishes.

    I also go along with certain social obligations because I don't want to get into debates about the holiday with people who really do enjoy it. Work/barn holiday parties etc -- I just go, enjoy hanging out with people, and that's that. I might or might not participate in dirty/secret santa exchanges, depending on my mood. I can always blame my budget if I need an excuse to bow out of those.

    I've never had a problem with this approach. I don't have to jump full scale into the holiday frenzy, but there's also no family/friend tension because no one on either side is trying to force everyone else to conform to their idea of what the holiday should be.

    You give some, you get some. That goes for respect just as much as it does for the actual gifts.



  2. #22
    Join Date
    Sep. 1, 2007
    Posts
    662

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    I agree with Halt Near X. I don't participate, but I try not to be pushy about it. Everyone close to me knows not to do gifts and the more extended family that I get to see every few years doesn't go crazy with it.

    I usually work on Christmas. I work as a waitress at a nice restaurant in a resort so not only are we open on Christmas, it is also probably our busiest day of the year. Good money to be made and since I like to keep that extended family as a once-every-other-year occurence, it works out nicely.



  3. #23
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    14,778

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    Oh my - we find Christmas such a happy time of year, time for friends to take a bit of time off, lay back and relax, and make a point of visiting and for family to come and stay and to be surrounded by love and food and to imbibe a little. Children make Christmas and we follow family traditions a bit.

    I agree that the retail commercialism is over the top, but we chose to limit
    it in our family and not get sucked in....more so these days.

    Some of the comments above are quite sad really, or bitter, cannot decide.
    Holidays re what you make them....do try...make them fun.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


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  4. #24
    Join Date
    Sep. 15, 2005
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    1,562

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    I am not religious and I hate consumerism so I have stepped way back in celebrating over the years. Working retail the last few has really turned me off of it, too. How can you keep the spirit alive in yourself when people trying are trying so darn hard to make you miserable with their demands???

    My son is grown and moved out so there is only my husband and 11yo daughter at home and she has learned early that life is not all about owning "things" so she is level heading about not getting lots of gifts. My husband is pretty laid back about it, too. I told my mom years ago not to get me anything and my dad always gets me a TSC gift card to help me out with the horse's needs.

    We have had the excuse the last couple of years not to put up a tree because of the pets (one 17lb cat who's a tree climber, one 17lb cat who's Baby Huey, one 6lb cat who takes the ornaments off, one 8 mos old kitten who I can't imagine would be helpful, and one year-old+ Border Collie who still eats inappropriate objects and you never know what it will be LOL).

    My husband and I will buy something around this time of year that we want and just say it's a present. We don't surprise each other with anything anymore. My daughter gets about three gifts and some stocking stuffers. This year she wanted a hamster so she actually got that a month ago. The wrapped presents for her this year were a horsey shirt, a nameplate belt, and a cell phone holder for trail riding. She will be the first one to tell you that she doesn't need a bunch of toys; if she gets any for Christmas from me, they are Breyer model horses. My dad will be giving her money for the new helmet and riding boots she needs.

    We just take the day off as a nice family day to watch movies, cook a special meal, and hang out eating cookies



  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2007
    Location
    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
    Posts
    7,203

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    Quote Originally Posted by Foxtrot's View Post
    Some of the comments above are quite sad really, or bitter, cannot decide.
    Holidays re what you make them....do try...make them fun.
    I vote for sad. I used to love Christmas. It was one of my hobbies. Horses, gardening, Christmas. It has always been a strong part of my self image. Everyone always complimented me on my decorating, my creative gifts, my lovely cards, my energy and enthusiasm.

    Sadly, my husband has no positive memories of Christmas. He views it as an expensive hassle and says it always is and always has been a let down. He lets me do my thing and compliments me on how nice the house looks and how well I cook and entertain etc. Even makes requests that I send cards or little gifts to certain friends or family members and is happy to pay for it all. But when he isn't making a concerted effort not to rain on my parade he is a real curmudgeon about it. I know he would rather skip it completely and honestly it wears on me. I don't want to blame him for my loss of spirit but in all fairness it is a huge part of it.



  6. #26
    Join Date
    Apr. 10, 2005
    Location
    Spring, TX
    Posts
    495

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gloria View Post
    We do, but that is because I have nieces and nephews and they want Christmas (figure) but I myself really dislike Christmas. If given a chance, I would rather not have it at all. First it annoys the heck out of me having stuff I don't like and don't use at the house, because then I will have to figure out where to put them - clutter, - and clean them - more work on me, - or designate them to trash bin - feeling guilty, - or re-gift - again more work for me, not to mention more guilt.

    The whole idea of exchanging gifts is one of the lousiest ideas under the sun in my book: I give you this you don't like and you give me that that I hate, and we both end up with stuff we would rather not. Why don't we just give each other money so we can each go to get something we like, but then why go through all the trouble of exchanging it at all? I give you fifty bucks of Target gift card, and you give me fifty bucks of Best Buy? Why not just keep money in our own pockets so we don't have to remember to dig out that gift card buried in a dusty grave yard seven months from now.

    Really in these days if I have something I like, I would have bought them already; and if I have not bought them, it is because it is too expensive, and I would not expect anybody to spend that kind of money for a friends or family members.

    Last year our children got one gift each under the tree (something they asked for) and a collective gift. We then took them shopping after Christmas when all the sales were going on, and they were able to purchase clothes and toys they actually wanted. If you ask them, it was their best Christmas ever!!!



  7. #27
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    14,778

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    SmaftAlex - I think you worded that very effectively and it is possibly why so many people find Christmas just too much in every way, emotionally, financially, too much effort and too little sharing or complimenting. My husband, too, puts in as little as he can ... so it is a guy thing.

    But when the neighbours and friends pop in with a little bag or shortbread, or a friendly smile, it feels so nice that they cared and made the effort.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique



  8. #28
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 1999
    Location
    Ohio: Charter Member - COTH Hockey Clique & COTH Buffy Clique
    Posts
    9,143

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    Me. Am not Christian so the whole religious holiday is lost on me (not to mention, kinda gets on my nerves as it tends to be PUSHED). The commercialism part? Well, I still buy some presents -- my parents, XH's kids, a coworker, in addition to being part of a couple gift exchanges. But really that's about it. I DO celebrate in a way... Christmas to me is "Sushi & Movie Day!" Found out a few years ago that the sushi place was open on christmas so since then it's been sushi for lunch followed by a matinee.

    As for holidays, I prefer Yule/Solstice. I put out lights... but they get turned on when the sun returns at the solstice and stay on until the next pagan holiday (Imbolc in February). If I have a tree, it's a live one that I can plant outside and it can continue to grow. This year I didn't do much decorating. Wasn't in the mood (first holiday season at the farm by myself). I did, however, make some homemade irish cream. That's festive, right?
    ************
    "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

    "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike



  9. #29
    Join Date
    Nov. 25, 2004
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    939

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    Quote Originally Posted by cu.at.x View Post
    Me too. I hope the OP was being sarcastic. People rant about "consumerism" and then they throw perfectly good items in the trash. And it's one thing to not be Christian or not celebrate Christmas and another thing to be rude to someone who was just trying to be friendly. Christmas makes me depressed as hell, but I still say "Merry Christmas" and respond to people who tell me that.
    I celebrate Christmas in the sense of gift-giving, family get-togethers, etc. NOT in any shape or form of religious obligation.

    However, to comment on the above, I can see both points. It's annoying to receive gifts from people that you can tell they just ran into Walmart and bought from the $5 bin without even thinking.

    This Christmas, I received THREE scarves - none that I needed or wanted. One from my boss, one from my mom's sister, and one from my uncle's wife. The one from my mom's sister is plain ooogly, but it came from a nice boutique with the gift receipt, so I will be checking to see if I can exchange it for something I like. My uncle's wife handmade the scarf, but it's not my style or anything I would wear - bulky, neon/bright colors. Instead of throwing these two scarves out, I will drop them off at the clothes/shoes donation bin in my local Kroger parking lot.

    I did thank each person sincerely for their gift, but I don't feel like they need to know my plans for it.

    ETA: I've realized that while the scarf my uncle's wife made and gave me is not my style, it is just the thing my friend N would like and I will re-gift it as part of her birthday present
    Lucy (Precious Star) - 1994 TB mare; happily reunited with her colt Touch the Stars


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Oct. 16, 2008
    Location
    Central Oklahoma
    Posts
    3,232

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    Quote Originally Posted by JackandMo View Post
    Last year our children got one gift each under the tree (something they asked for) and a collective gift. We then took them shopping after Christmas when all the sales were going on, and they were able to purchase clothes and toys they actually wanted. If you ask them, it was their best Christmas ever!!!
    I'm sure it was their best Christmas, and I'm happy for them, but they are kids and don't really partake in this ridiculous ritual of "gift exchange", do they? If you ask my niece and nephews, or my sister-in-law for the matter, they are gonna tell you that they had an awesome Christmas last year too. My sister-in-law and her husband don't make much money and my husband and I were in a perfect position to splurge a bit, so the kid each got a generous gift, equivalent of more than $300 each from us alone. They got something they could show off to their classmates, and we were happy that they did - it was really fun to see their bright smiles upon opening that wrapper. And guess what happen this year? They each are expecting us to up the ante, and their mom has been telling them the whole year to wait till Christmas because "Uncle and Aunt will get you whatever you want," and subsequently were really disappointed when Uncle and Aunt didn't live up to their awesome reputation this year.

    I know what I write is very anti-holiday spirit and anti-whatever, but that is what happens with the whole deal: kids learn to expect freebies, and adults end up with junks to go to land fills.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2001
    Location
    Center of the Universe
    Posts
    7,208

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    People wish me "Merry Christmas" and some give me gifts. They are being kind and thoughtful. Not only am I not offended, as you seem to be, but I wouldn't dream of doing anything but thanking them sincerely.
    really? so the person who goes to the dollar store and buys 500 scented candles or something equally inane and gives one to everyone she's ever met is being thoughtful? I don't think so. She's wasting her money and her time, and honestly no one wants whatever it is she's handing out. Even worse are the people who think the thing to do is bake some kind of unhealthy food substance and hand that out instead- everyone I know is trying to eat healthy and lose weight, and having someone give them junk food is the opposite of being kind and thoughtful.
    THIS is the kind of mindless, meaningless gift-giving I abhor and I wish people would stop doing it. Exchanging gifts with a few loved ones, fine, that makes many people feel happy. But the other kind of mass mindless gift-giving does not.



  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2002
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    Area VIII, Region 2, Zone 5.
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    6,868

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    I'm sorry it all makes you so angry. Any time someone gives me a gift, I'm grateful someone thought enough of me to do that, no matter whether I like the gift or not.
    Quote Originally Posted by SuzieQNutter
    The whip is held across your thigh so as you can still hold the reins without spilling your coffee!!
    SillyHorse adds: Or your wine.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    May. 7, 2009
    Posts
    45

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    wow Wendy I feel bad for you. I am greateful I don't try to look into gestures of kindness so deeply as to twist them into something else. I am not religious but I do think that Christmas also brings out a lots of good deeds, love and kindness..but maybe that is because I like to be positive (I find I am more productive and life has better meaning that way).


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  14. #34
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2002
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    between the barn and the pond
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    14,495

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    Looking around my office, everyone's merrily eating and enjoying this season of...indulgence. I am not seeing loads of people juicing



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