The gifts have begun to mean less and less to me over the years. It's actually freeing to think of just spending time with family on Christmas, without gifts, without the hassles of shopping, without worrying about paying your credit card bill in January, and the feelings of guilt when someone gives you a gift and you haven't gotten anything for them. I bought stuff for my wife, of course, and the dogs, and I am looking forward to giving out gifts this year, more so than receiving anything. When I tell her to not get me anything, I actually mean it (even though know she's getting me stuff anyway).
Living in south Florida, it's pretty easy to have the holiday season come and go without notice. A lot of people put lights up and other decorations, but it's still not the same as up north. I'd say this time of year is really the only time I miss the winter and the cold weather. Plus, the people down here don't exactly emote holiday cheer.
<-----"Merry Christmas, asshole! Give me your parking space NOW"
Christmas music has usually been a huge part of the Christmas season for me, too. I've enjoyed putting together my Christmas playlist, or trying to find wacky Christmas tunes, or cool rock versions or songs by bands I like. This year, I haven't bothered. I know Trine wants to have Christmas music for our drive to my mom's house, so I will have to put something together in the next couple days. Between taking care of Trine, the dogs, working and trying to keep the house in shape, it just hasn't been a priority.
Plus, a couple weeks before Thanksgiving, when I turned on South Florida's only modern rock station, all I heard was awful renditions of Christmas classics. Only then did I realize that the morning DJ I like (Bubba the Love Sponge!) was fired and the station was reformatted. Then I just got sad. It is now "easy listening," whatever that means. Believe me, there's nothing easy about listening to that shit.
This Christmas, what I really look forward to just spending time with Trine, the pups and my family; having dinner and talking about all the hopes for 2011, which for me, will include the birth of my first child (What, me daddy?) and hopefully beating Donkey Kong Country Returns & Super Mario Galaxy 2 for the Wii.
I think having a new baby will give me reason to be more cheerful next year.