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Christmas-kittenThere’s a rather terrible thing going on these days and I really would LOVE to see it come to an end. For whatever reason we seem to want to go straight from Halloween to Christmas, completely skipping Thanksgiving. And by “we” I mean rotten ass people who have lost sight of the true meaning of the winter holidays and are content to trade precious time with loved ones, sharing special traditional meals and celebrations for brash consumerism and wanton spending of money they don’t have on shit no one needs.

I happen to have a ridiculously large collection of Christmas music and I won’t even listen to it until the day after Thanksgiving.

Honestly, none of the winter holidays – Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza – started out as competitions to see who could buy the most/the tackiest/the priciest crap for others. Go back even farther to the nature-based faiths and the celebration of the winter solstice – none of that bullshit there either. They all started as ways to celebrate faith in something larger than ourselves and embrace our place in the human family.

So yes, I’m planning ahead for my Christmas gift giving, but what I likely haven’t made clear is that I do this because most of the gifts I give are small tokens of my love that I make myself by hand, and the making takes time.

Please, relax already. You really don’t need to spend $300 on Ricky, your little nephew, because chances are he already has more toys than FAO Schwartz keeps on their shelves. Give your family and friends the gift of time – your time. Cook for them. Help them with a project around the house. Make something for them, even if it’s just paper cut out snowflakes to decorate their windows with.

Spreading the Christmas cheer doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money. And please, do Mama a favor, wait to do it until after the Thanksgiving turkey has been cleared from the table, ok?