Wednesday, December 12, 2007

We Just Said “No”

A few years ago, Chuck and I stopped exchanging Chanukah/Holiday/Christmas gifts with each other. We’ve known each other more than two decades and been celebrating holidays together nearly that long. We’ve navigated the challenges of our different religious upbringings and family traditions quite well. But it was the gift giving that never failed to give us fits.

We tried quantity - crazy. We tried just one gift each - Oy the pressure! We tried lists of suggestions - too much like grocery lists. We tried practical, frivolous and everything in between. At one point we realized that if we needed something during the year, we talked about it and we bought it. We liked the lack of pressure, the collaboration, the bargain hunting, the whole thing. Shopping for gifts for each other at the holidays seemed artificial and externally imposed. So we stopped.

I have to tell you it has been a relief. Neither of us has felt deprived. We still do whatever holiday traditions we want and enjoy. Like lighting the Chanukah candles all eight nights and singing songs together afterwards. Having our indoor/outdoor (now) LED tree on the porch. Going to Christmas Revels in Cambridge. And of course, celebrating Christmas Day with my family in Rhode Island - on whatever day we all agree to celebrate the holiday that year!

I hope your holiday season has just the right amount of peace and quiet; celebration and delight - however you choose to define it for you and yours!


purpleronnie said...

I must admit - that really does sound like a plan. In fact this year I just told Steven I want perfume and exactly what type I want. It gets harder and harder each year to have to think of something. I do like the idea of coming up with something we would both really like and going out and getting it together. It really makes it more of a together type thing than, as you say, the externally forced thing.

Pink Granite said...

Hi Ronnie -
Yup. I'll always vote for something we can do and share together. It does make it more fun!
- Lee