I have to confess, the holiday season isn't my favorite time of year. I realized this about 10 years ago when I became aware of how frustrated and upset I got around Christmas. The pressure to buy gifts among massive crowds, wrap the presents, send cards, decorate, cook, etc, etc. It all seemed like the presumed joy of the season never came because it was overshadowed by the pressure of what I was expected to do.
I've threatened several times to hop on a plane and bow out of Christmas on some remote tropical island, but of course it always seems I'm crunched for cash this time of year so it never works out. I honestly don't think I would mind Christmas if could simply get together with family and friends for a pot lock dinner, have a good time without the exchange gifts. It would also be nice to skip cooking Christmas Day and work at a soup kitchen feeding the homeless instead. I've asked my nephews if they would do this with me on a few Christmases, but it didn't seem to excite them--for them Christmas is all about getting gifts.
As for me, I wouldn't mind getting any gifts because it's a crap shoot as to whether or not I would like the gift, and returning something I don't like is just one more hassle on the long list of things to do during this time.
I just want to get away from the commercialism of the holidays. I want to spend quality time with the people that matter to me--gift-exchange free. And I want to give back to those less fortunate than me. I want to spend a day with my mom and friends in New York City, take pictures of us under the Rockefeller Christmas Tree. I would love to see the Nutcracker ballet with someone I love.
I want to create wonderful Christmas memories like everyone else. Just take the commerce aspect out of it!