Two years ago I stood in a not so brightly-lit parking lot. In the distance I could see that big yellow sign that read “Best Buy.” It was 11PM. I was cold and I am pretty sure I wasn’t the only one. I stood there with my friend as we waited for midnight. I had no intention of buying anything. In fact, I only went there because my friend wanted to get a laptop. I knew that day that it would be my last time participating on Black Friday. I didn’t want to go through it anymore.
In previous years, I actually had an intent to buy something. I would show up at Wal-Mart at midnight, wait for a bit and maybe, just maybe buy that video game at $20 cheaper than the MSRP. And the years before that, I would drive and roam around my neighborhood, looking to buy something at a great price that I am pretty sure I didn’t need.
Since then, I have given up on Black Friday. It’s not that I don’t like great deals. It’s just that I didn’t care anymore. I no longer wanted to become part of the machine that society has told me that I needed to be a part of. It’s tiring. It’s stressful. It’s not what Christmas is all about.
Is Christmas over yet? I ask that question to myself around October. Then I ask it again in November. Then right when December rolls around, I wonder it again. I long for December 26th.
Christmas has turned into my least favorite holidays. What our society has told us is that Christmas is this holiday that overtakes the latter third of our calendar. In fact, I even saw Christmas decorations for sale at Costco in August.
It’s stressful trying to think of which people I had to buy gifts for. Then I had to wonder which people I would see in December that might buy me a gift and I had to find a way to return the favor. It became more of a strategical gameplan than anything.
I didn’t want to deal with it anymore. So I decided to quit Christmas.
I don’t buy gifts for people and I don’t ask for gifts in return. I don’t decorate things. I change the radio station when I hear Christmas tunes. I just don’t.
Oh Sam, why are you being a Grinch?
I suppose you can call me that, but I take that name with pride because Christmas for me has changed.
For the longest time, it was about gifts. The story of Jesus and all that stuff from church was just a precursor to get gifts. Now it’s the only thing I care about.
What’s Christmas really mean to me? This is what it means.