It’s the day before Thanksgiving, and I celebrated this year by getting my new license plate! Dig the joy! (I do need to get a new license plate frame for it, though.) But I am also doing what I do every year at this time, writing my pre-holiday shopping season note to my AAUGH Blog friends and fans.
The holiday season is hitting hard an a little oddly this year; Thanksgiving falls as it usually does, as do Christmas and Beethoven’s birthday, but the slippery eel of Hannukah has moved late in the calendar, starting on Christmas eve and lasting into the new year. Some of you may be considering buying presents (and even more of you are considering receiving presents!), and here are some thoughts:
- The best thing you have to offer the ones you love is not some physical object, but that love, and your attention, and your caring, in whatever form that can take. Forgiveness is a tricky thing to give, but in many cases, it is a gift that can do wonder for the giver and the recipient.
- Gifts of financial charity are also of value, giving money in honor of someone on your gif list. You can either choose a cause that touches your recipient’s heart, or you can give to a charity that is helping locally to them – their local food bank, for instance. I’ve bought people a number of gifts that evoked glee in the past year (easy to do when you have kids), but the one gift that most touched the heart was clearly a charitable gift.
- If you do want to give the physical object, there is much to be said in buying from local merchants and craftsmen, supporting those in your community.
- Having said all that, there are many conveniences to buying online. This is particularly true if you’re giving a gift to someone who is not nearby (hunting down the present, taking it home to wrap it, then getting off to the crowded post office to mail it off is an effort that can be waved away with a few clicks of your mouse.) Many years, I’ve traveled with my family to some distant relatives’ house for the holiday, but I order even the gifts for my family shipped to where we’re staying; it’s a lot less hassle than trying to bring everything there in the luggage (particularly with the ever smaller luggage allowance airlines give.)
- If you are going to order from Amazon, couldja do me a favor? Before you start shopping, come to the AAUGH Blog and click on any sales link there. Amazon sees that, and gives me a small cut of your payment as thanks. This is the money that I use to justify the time and money that I put into this blog… and unfortunately (thanks to the impact of Facebook, and the fact that Facebook doesn’t like to share with you my posts that have Amazon links) that income has been dropping a lot in recent years.
- If all this is causing anxiety, remember, you can opt out of buying gifts, particularly for adults. These holidays should be about joy, and most adults will understand if you feel that the gift part of things is causing more stress than joy. (Although if you usually exchange gifts, forewarn them that you’re opting out this year, and thus spare them the stress of shopping for you.)
I might make some gift recommendations in some upcoming posts, but really, my biggest pushes are what you’ve seen in the last couple posts – Complete Peanuts 26 is great for the Peanuts completist, and Peanuts Every Sunday volume 3 is a wonderful book for those who know they like Peanuts, but haven’t ever had the chance to really luxuriate in the strips.
May all your holidays be happy and all your griefs be good!