Thursday, December 03, 2009

Holiday Angst

I should be working right now. In fact, I should be cranking away on an estimate that is due Monday, but I have yet to really start because I'm a master at procrastination. Add in that I can start to feel a bit of angst creeping in amongst my bones and it's a perfect recipe for crapping away a bit more time this afternoon before hopefully, maybe working on what I should be doing.

A few years back, I came to the conclusion that exchanging a bunch of trinkets with everyone and their dog that you deem important in your life is a bunch of commercialized BS. Shortly thereafter, I convinced my wife of the same thing and we notified friends and family that we would no longer be exchanging our money for theirs through the intermediaries known as stores, malls, and online shopping. In short, we won't get you anything and please don't get us anything. We'd much rather enjoy your company over the holiday season than have you spend your hard earned money trying to find something you think we can't live without and vice versa.

My angst derives a lot of it's power from that decision. While I always have been a bit on edge about the holidays since I've been old enough to be aware of the trap we've laid out for ourselves when it comes to picking out gifts for other people, I've felt a bit more pressure in sticking to my guns with the new system in place. Mind you, this hasn't completely worked as we still give gifts to our kids and a few select friends kids that exchange with us becuase imposing our wills upon a child at Christmas time, just steps over one of those boundaries I'm not ready to cross. We also still receive a few gifts from our parental units, which I think is probably something that will never stop and truth be told, we do appreciate it as their gifts tend to be very utilitarian- gas cards, grocery cards, and the like. However, for the greatest part, it has worked out well and we don't receive a ton of gifts of varying value that add to the clutter of our daily trudge through life and for that, we're pretty thankful.

I think my issues really kick in when I feel the want to get small trinkets for a select few people. In my mind, I used to think I had a pretty good knack for picking out gifts for people. That part of my brain still kicks in when I run across things I think would make particularly well suited gifts. Add in that I do enjoy giving things to people, but we also seem to be running a family budget defecit this year (in hopes my bonus comes through), and you've got a great recipe for mixed emotions when it comes to the season.

Anyone else fighting the angst of the season out there?