It’s been a little while since we last talked. I was planning on having new pieces published this week, but time got away from me. Some of you may have gotten a sneak peak at one of my upcoming Writing Prompt Pieces on Friday when it published even though it wasn’t supposed to. Oh well. That will be one of the first Writing Prompt pieces of the new year, so look out for that. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, don’t worry. Just be ready for some awesome pieces coming out in early January! I don’t want to spend too much of this Weekly Blog talking about the nitty gritty stuff and the housekeeping stuff. For that I’m going to publish a special Weekly Blog tomorrow summing up this past year and filling you in on details about my Christmas/Holiday break and the “Season Two Premiere” when the website will start up again in January. Just be on the lookout for that. Again, I will post a special Weekly Blog tomorrow about the website and any changes that are going to happen in 2018. I want to move on from that and segue to me telling you how much I appreciate you. If you are here reading my stuff, I appreciate you. No matter if this is the first thing of mine you have read or if you’ve been reading my stuff since the website’s launch in late January 2017, I am thankful you are here reading my stuff. I cannot express how much every view, like, comment, and share means to me. It honestly makes my day every time someone leaves a comment or gives my pieces a like. Anyway thank you for your viewership and if you like this blog, feel free to give it some love or maybe spend some time on the website. If you don’t like this blog or blogs aren’t really your thing, there are plenty of other pieces on the website. There are Weekly Blogs as well as many Creative Writing Pieces. Last week’s Writing Prompt piece was all about Humans using magic to survive against an Alien invasion. So check that out if that sounds like something you’d enjoy reading! Ok enough of that. Let’s get to talking about The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!
I already talked a little about Christmas in my December 1st Update on my New Year’s Resolutions and my Weekly Blog about Christmas Music, but now I just want talk about Christmas in broad strokes. Now everyone’s Christmas experiences are a little different. Some people have a very religious Christmas and some people have a very secular Christmas. Some people love Christmas and start celebrating when Halloween ends. Some people start celebrating when Thanksgiving ends. And some people don’t start celebrating. For me, I love Christmas (which I’ve mentioned many times before), but I do think it needs to be restrained a bit. I like when Holidays all have their day in the spotlight and that applies to the often overlooked holiday of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving isn’t my favorite Holiday, but any day where I don’t have to work and instead get to eat Turkey all day, is a good day for me. I like Thanksgiving to have its time and then as soon as Black Friday hits, I turn on the Christmas Music and fully embrace the Holly, Jolly Holiday.
Honestly, Christmas feels like this super special time that ebbs and flows between a calm peace and hair-tearing-out levels of stress. I’m someone who didn’t grow up with a lot of money (and doesn’t have a ton of money now) while also being someone who prides himself as a good gift giver. Year after year it has been a struggle to find the perfect gift for people while also making sure you can pay the bills and keep a little bit of money in the bank accounts. I also make myself a budget for what I’m going to spend on each person I’m buying gifts for. Then I go to Amazon to shop online, see something really awesome I need to buy for someone, realize that it’s way over budget, and then I buy it anyway. Basically I have a realistic Christmas budget for about 20 minutes before it is thrown out the window. Then the list of people starts growing. It starts with friends and family. Then friends of friends or family of friends or friends of family. At first you think you’re buying for 5 people and by the end of it, it is 25 people and you’re looking for a sketchy place on the internet to sell one of your kidneys for Christmas presents. Just normal things like that. But like I said, I think I’m a pretty good gift giver. Now I don’t know that for sure, but I have a pretty good inclination. I’m sure I don’t nail everyone’s presents all the time, but within the limitations of my now discarded budget, I think I do really good.
The flipside of that is that I’m a really hard person to shop for. There are two main reasons why people seem to have a hard time shopping for me. 1) I have a lot of interests and love a lot of things and 2) I don’t really need anything. Now the second one might be a common trait among men. Apparently if we need something, we just go out and buy it. We don’t wait for someone to buy it for us. For me, this is definitely true. If I need something and it costs less than $20, I’ll just go out and buy it. It’s not a huge deal. However, if I just go out and buy all the things I need, people are stuck guessing at the things I want or may still need but that costs more than 20 bucks. So I don’t really need anything small. I need things like my student loans paid off, or my own apartment, or about $1,000 worth of car repairs. I don’t really need anything between the price of $20 to $100 and no one is buying me worth any more than $100, believe me! So the next step is figuring out what stuff I might like or want. That’s where the first thing comes in. I love a lot of things and already have a lot of merchandise from those things. Captain America Graphic Tees? Yeah I have about one hundred of those. I will say that people generally do a good job shopping for me. I’m not one of those people who will go to the store and return stuff, and I’m also not a regifter. Maybe I won’t use something that people buy me, but I feel bad not using it. I know I’d feel one hundred times worse if I just sold it or gave it back to the store. So I just hold on to it. I don’t know if I’m ever going to use it, but I hold on to it anyway. I know some people are appalled that I would just hold onto stuff that I’m never going to use and those people have no problem taking it back or getting rid of it. There’s nothing wrong with that, but for me, I would rather just hold onto a bag gift rather than someone finding out I didn’t like their gift. I want everyone to feel like they are the best gift giver.
That being said, I’ve never gotten a truly awful gift. Yeah maybe it’s not my favorite thing or maybe I’ll never take it out of the box, but it’s not horrible. It’s an ok gift. I’ll just never be interested in it. Now I have gotten some wonderful gifts before. One that sticks out to me is when my parents got me and my brothers a Nintendo GameCube. Way back in the early 2000’s, we had a Nintendo Gamecube, but after many, many hours of playing Super Smash Bros Melee and Super Mario Sunshine, the poor GameCube stopped working. I don’t remember what the exact problem was, but I think it either had trouble reading the disks or trouble reading the memory card. Well anyway, we don’t have our GameCube working for a while and when Christmas approaches, my parents decide that the big gift to all of us is either going to be a new GameCube or a basketball hoop. Both were actually pretty good gifts for us at the time. We needed a new GameCube and we played basketball using a hoop that was pretty old and barely had a net attached to it. Now I’d like to believe that our decision took longer than two seconds, but I’m pretty sure my brothers and I all agreed almost instantly that we wanted a new GameCube. So for Christmas that year we got a new GameCube and continued playing that GameCube to this day.
I think in general some of my favorite gifts have been the practical ones. I love sentimental gifts as well, but sometimes you just need some dress shirts for work, or a new pair of tennis shoes, or a new winter coat. If you really can’t think of anyone, gift cards are simple and as long as you get one that they will use, it’s a perfect gift. That or just give money. Money is a perfect gift. People will either put it towards every day expenses or go buy the thing they really want with it. Either way it’s a win-win. Giving money or a gift card can sometimes feel like the easy way out or not meaningful enough for Christmas. I kind of understand that mentality. For Christmas, I love to unwrap presents and open boxes. The act of opening a present is almost a present itself. However for things like Birthdays, I think money and gift cards are probably one of the best gifts you can get. Again sometimes you have to put practicality above sentimentality. You know that your gift of cash or a gift card is going to be used, so at least you don’t have to worry about it getting used or collecting dust in their attic.
The last thing that I want to say is that I hope that you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Happy Holidays! Whether or not you love the holiday or find it stressful, I hope that this piece added a little bit of holiday joy to the season. If you liked this blog, give it a like or leave a comment down below. Maybe leave a comment about the best gift you’ve ever received or the worst gift you’ve ever received. Or maybe just leave your favorite Christmas memory down in the comments. I’ll make sure to read it!
Have a wonderful week a wonderful holiday season!
Header Photo Credit to Spirited Diva’s WordPress Blog from 2104 about Christmas