I’m Only Buying Socks For My Loved Ones This Year
The holiday season poses unique challenges for someone with cerebral palsy. When I was growing up, I loved dressing up as my favorite animal and handing out candy on Halloween. I love going to holiday parties dressed like my favorite Disney princess. Now that I’m older, I understand the complexities that come with the holiday season. I have a totally different feeling.
My parents have two grown children, my sister and I, who are both in our twenties, both attending college, and working on becoming self-reliant women. We are way too old to believe that if we leave cookies out, an overweight man, driving a sled, of course, piloted by magical reindeer, will come down our chimney and leave us presents.
No matter what holidays celebrate, I’m sure your family has their own wonderful traditions. When I was younger, Christmas Eve was spent with my grandparents, listening to Italian Christmas carols, eating dinner, opening gifts for my grandparents, and then going to Midnight Mass.
On Christmas day, my childhood home was the place to be. My whole family would come over, we would open Christmas presents, the kids would all play together as the adults sat around drinking wine, and talk about the latest gossip around town.
The fun didn’t end when Saint Nicholas left. We would spend the next day at my grandparent’s house, sitting around the wood stove. And in our warm cozy PJ’s we would open presents and eat pizza. To this day the smell of burning wood fills me with a sense of comfort and warm homey feelings in a way nothing else can.
As you get older you realize a few things about the holidays. Number one, Santa is not real. Sorry boys and girls but Santa is the product of a story that is over 100 years old story. This myth is about a man of God, who helped poor people in his community, anonymously. Needy families would receive money and other much-needed items when the gifts were slid down there chimneys. This beautiful story has been made into what we know as modern Santa Claus in order to sell things and make children behave. You also learn, that there is this weird amount of pressure you feel to buy your loved ones presents even when you don’t have the money.
We are still having multiple Christmas celebrations because I have loved ones scattered all over the country now. Due to the economic recession, most of my family has moved away from our Upstate New York town. Having a disability adds to the complication the holiday season brings. Having to make my way through large crowds with a mobility device and visual processing issues only add to the difficulty.
To remedy this problem I decided I would start shopping on Amazon. Every year I begin my Christmas shopping, in early November to make sure to accommodate everyone on my list. Shopping on Amazon can be overwhelming if you’ve never tried it. There are thousands of things to choose from and I always have doubts about what I’m getting someone. I wonder if they’ll like it, I also wonder if they’ll use it. I’ve decided to fix this problem this year! I’m still shopping on Amazon to avoid crowds. I’m still starting early to make sure I don’t forget anyone, but I’m buying only one item, for everyone.
I’ve chosen to buy only socks, for my loved ones this year.
You can go ahead and call me cheap, and you can call me crazy. I will admit that I’m both batshit crazy and money conscious. I’ve decided to put most of my focus on my future career. As a result, I’m a full-time student and I’m taking part in an internship program. It’s a tradition that I work at a haunted house, in order to supplement my Christmas income. Poor weather conditions in the northeastern part of the US have meant that my local Haunted attraction has had trouble attracting customers. Meager funds reflected that. Knowing I don’t have a lot of money to spend, has made me feel the need to be more frugal than I have been in past years.
Last year for Christmas a friend from school sent me a bouquet of beautiful red roses. It was a total surprise. When I told her thank you for the flowers she said: “Just remember to pay it forward next year.” With that in mind, I have sent, two coworkers, and my best friend, each a pair of socks. I have almost all my holiday shopping done. Because I’m only buying socks and I’m only buying them in one place. I’ve been able to buy presents for quite a few people, in less than five hours, I’m not waiting in line. I won’t get trampled to death on Black Friday, Not being trampled to death is always a positive thing. I also, while taking part in the experiment, have spent less than $65.
The holidays have so much more meaning than just expensive gifts. The holidays are about family and friends. The holidays are about helping others. The holidays can be an expression of faith, love, and remembering what’s really important to you.
I may consider only giving socks for Christmas every year until I’m dead. At my funeral, they’ll say” she found the best socks.” Happy holidays, and never forget what matters most to you.