Holiday Plans (Part 1, maybe of 1)
Dear Family and Friends,
Thanksgiving week is in many ways the real beginning of the Holiday Season for me. I love Halloween with a passion, but its impact on my schedule and mood pales in comparison to the Thanksgiving-to-New-Years run. So, here are some things about this holiday season I wanted to let people know.
Lj and I won’t be making a visit to Oklahoma for Christmas, as we had originally planned. Too many circumstances conspired to make it nearly impossible. I will miss family and friends dearly, but we just aren’t willing to deal with the repercussions such a trip would bring down on us this year. This is the best choice for us, and we are at peace with it. We have some wonderful friends here that have already invited us to Thanksgiving Dinner and two different “Leftovers Meals” gathers later that weekend, so don’t worry about us. Gathering with folks here for fun, food, games, and camaraderie is much more in keeping with how I want to spend the holidays than either airport terminals or sales that start at 5am on a day off work.
Speaking of Black Friday sales…
… Christmas. Specifically, presents.
With the possible exception of yet-unknown social events with blind gift exchanges, Lj and I aren’t doing Christmas gifts for family or friends this year, and we’d prefer family and friends not do gifts for us. The real point of the holiday spirit is to help those who are in need, to make room at the inn, so to speak. Instead of spending too much money on stuff no one needs, we are planning to spend what we can on angel tree gifts and a donation to a charity that provides farm animals, training, and small business loans to families both domestic and abroad.
This applies to fans as well. I got a slew of gifts from fans and patrons last year, and it moved me greatly, but I’m going to ask no one go to those lengths this year. If you’d really like to do something for us this season, spend time with your loved ones. Enjoy a game together. Do some volunteering together. Help someone near you who needs it. That will mean more to us than anything material you could buy for us.
None of this is in any way meant to be judgmental of what others do. I have had years with gifts piled to the rafters, and we may do it again some year. But this season, what Lj and I need most is some time off, together and with friends, some quiet and reflection, and the knowledge that we helped some people truly in need. That’s our gift to each other, and our focus for our spiritual needs this season. I hope each and every one of you finds the right celebration for your needs, spiritual and temporal. I plan to enjoy the holidays in part by not worrying so much about their financial impact this year, and hope that asking anyone who might get us something instead spend the time and resources that would take to do something fun and relaxing for themselves will spread a bit of holiday cheer without requiring postage.
So I wish everyone a wonderful winter season, and I hope whatever religious observances, social gatherings, and fun activities you have planned go better than ever. For those of you far away, I’ll miss you, but I know one year is a drop in the bucket of our lives. For those near, I hope we have many chances to laugh, play, and spend time together.
Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Yummy Yule, and whatever other expressions of friendship and joy I think of. 🙂