An Unconventional Christmas

I LOVE Christmas. Growing up, my family went all out. My mom decked out the house in small animated figurines, nutcrackers, and stockings galore. The tree stood tall in the corner draped in tinsel, crystal ornaments, and flickering lights. Our front yard lit up the neighborhood. Honestly, I was surprised our neighbors never filed a formal complaint. It was that bright! When I got older, I even bought a Santa suit and stood in front of my house during the holiday season giving out toys and candy.

What I loved the most was the Christmas spirit. Christmas brought out the best in people and encompassed several personal core values. I always believed in the power of giving and kindness. What better time of year to see this exemplified than at Christmastime. I always went all out in gift giving. I bought thoughtful, meaningful presents for my friends and family. I did not care if they got me something in return. Seeing their reaction when they opened their gift meant the world to me.

For Christmas 2019 however, I made a much different choice – no gifts this year. I bought zero gifts. Nobody would have a present under their tree, menorah, or Festivus pole from yours truly.

This choice was not made out of ill intent though. I merely made this decision out of self-preservation. As of right now, I still rent. I am finally in the financial position to save up and purchase my own home. Christmas just happened to land right in the middle of this process. If I went all out on Christmas like I usually do, it would set me back anywhere from $500 to upwards of $1,000.

I would be lying if I said guilt was nowhere to be found. This decision went against everything that I believed the holiday stood for. I felt more like a Scrooge rather than St. Nick.

I reluctantly told my friends and family about my decision. I was fearful of their reactions. I never wanted to be perceived as some selfish brat. I am all about giving back and being there for others. To my surprise, I was met with support from every single individual. They understood my intentions. Several people said the same thing even. “You buy for everyone every year. It’s about time you did something for yourself.”

These people got it. They knew me well enough to know that I was not trying to leave anyone out. It was just that I needed a break this year for personal endeavors. I was happy to know that my loved ones saw this. It really showed that they see me for who I am and support me in my personal goals. It also demonstrated that it was okay for me to be a tiny bit selfish when it came to bettering my situation and myself. That was the best gift that anyone could give me this holiday season.

To you and yours, have a great holiday season!

-The Caring Counselor

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