Well everyone, it's Christmas Eve.
I'm sure by this time, most presents have been wrapped and are now under the tree, glittering enticingly as they wait for tomorrow morning to come. By this time, scores of children are dancing with impatience, eagerly looking forward to the chaos of tomorrow. I'm sure the malls are packed with frantic shoppers, boyfriends, and husbands, who are scrambling to get that last elusive gift before time runs out.
My family isn't doing presents this year.
For various reasons, it has become too difficult for several members of the family to do the whole buying present thing. As a result, we've all agreed not to buy everyone gifts. So, this year, there is no tree, no presents, no stockings or decorations. Our living room stands empty, tree-less, except for a tiny, two-foot tree on an end table. My family doesn't have any small children, so there'll be no dissapointment that Santa didn't come this year.
You might be horrified, shocked, appalled, that we're abandoning the whole Christmas traditon of gift exchange, but you know? I'm okay with it. Because Christmas isn't about trees and decorations and presents. It isn't about fighting mall traffic in search of that one popular item that everyone seems to be sold out of. It's not about exchanging gift cards to the exact same store, or buying a generic gift for that one person who seems to have everything. It seems to me that, in the frenzy of buying and spending and the rush to get everyone presents, we've lost sight of what's really important at Christmas, and that is family.
Tommorrow morning, probably around 5 am or earlier, there will be mobs of children dragging their parents out of bed to the tree. Tomorrow morning will usher in the sound of ripping paper and delighted shrieking, as the most anticipated day of the year finally begins full swing. And that's good. I'm happy for everyone. I wish everyone a very merry Christmas full of joy and laughter. But for me, the best gift will be my family, together again for the holidays. We'll have a nice meal, and sit, and talk, and enjoy the day. No gifts, no tree. Just togetherness.
Merry Christmas, everyone.