The Christmas Secret

Well, it’s Christmas Eve. After the build-up and the shopping and the parties, we’re down to it. Tomorrow is the Big Day™.

Of course, we still haven’t finished shopping (duh), but there’s no sense of urgency. The kids and I will go out and laugh at all the last-minute rookies frantically searching through the leftovers for an acceptable gift. (“Look! Toothpaste! Grandma loves toothpaste!”)

That’s because: A) We’re pros. I’ve been shopping on Christmas Eve for at least 20 years; and B) We know the Christmas Secret™.

The Christmas Secret™ is one which The Man™ doesn’t want you to know. In fact if everyone knew it, the American economy might not survive. It’s best that we keep it under wraps. Just between us. So, don’t go spreading this one around!

You don’t have to give presents at Christmas!

At first glance, it looks simple enough. But you need to read the sentence multiple times with varying emphasis to get the full meaning.

You don’t have to give presents at Christmas!

You. Yes, you. You are not burdened as the only person in the world that must find the perfect gift. You don’t have to carry around a butt-load of guilt about not getting a present for every fricking person in the entire world–much less the bestest one. Lighten up. Enjoy your family and friends. If they use a brightly packaged box to figure out how much they love you this year, screw ’em.

You don’t have to give presents at Christmas!

Give presents because you want to, or don’t bother. If I might get a bit religious here (oh no, wouldn’t want that on Christmas), our church’s philosophy on life is much the same as my philosophy on Christmas presents. God forgave all your sins a long time ago. You don’t have to sit around beating yourself up over all the bad stuff you’ve done. You don’t have to figure out how good you need to be to make up for it. God doesn’t expect a anything out of you. You do good as a response to that grace–a happy dance of thankfulness–because you wanna, not because you gotta. On a smaller scale, it’s the same with Christmas presents. Give them out of thankfulness to someone you love. Someone who truly loves you doesn’t expect a damned thing out of you.

You don’t have to give presents at Christmas!

The greatest gift I get each day is the chance to laugh with my family. Am I that greedy and mean-spirited to put the value of some toy above that? Are you? Of course not. Presents are one-shot expressions of joy. Some will be appreciated forever. Some will go straight into the back closet. Whether they are an expensive new video game or an ashtray made from Silly Putty, none of them will outshine the love behind them. I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to find the perfect gift. Just don’t give yourself a heart attack or get yourself into a car wreck over it. You’ll be taking away something far more precious than whatever you might have bought.

You don’t have to give presents at Christmas!

This is another thing I don’t get. How did we come to the place where all of our focus on giving and celebrating love occurs on one fricking day? A day that was pulled out of a hat by a Pope over a thousand years ago, because he wanted to find a way to convert pagans but still let them have the mid-winter festival they were already celebrating? Yes, we’re celebrating the birth of Jesus by giving each other presents on his supposed birthday. But if all you do is focus on one day, you miss the point entirely.

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?”

Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.”


Merry Christmas.

And chill the hell out, ok?

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34 Responses to The Christmas Secret

  1. Scott says:

    Nicely said, my friend.

  2. kat says:

    Well said. It’s the love you give all year and not just one day. *mwah* Merry Christmas my friend.

  3. Brian says:

    Brilliant! Even a confirmed Grinch like me can agree with everything you’ve said. Well done.

    A happy holiday to you and yours!

  4. Hey Lisa says:

    Perfect. I agree wholeheartedly. 🙂 Merry Christmas to the whole family.

  5. -=e=- says:

    (*whew* one less person I have to buy a Chia Pet or Talking Bass for… THANK GOD!)
    You got it! It’s all about peace, and love and all that good stuff! So on that note, I wish you and all your CyberPals here a Merry Christmas and a but-kicking 2004!!!

  6. madpoet says:

    wish you and your family a happy holiday season:)

  7. Christine says:

    Bravo! I have felt this way for a very long time!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  8. Words of Holiday Wisdom

    I’ve been sharing my feelings about the Christmas season here on my blog. But no one has ever said it better than Solonor. Please go and read what he has to say.

    And, with that, I wish you all a very happy holiday!

  9. Annessa says:

    I love you man. Merry Christmas!!

  10. Bea says:

    Well said! I hope you’ll have a very Merry Christmas and that you’ll get, at least, a few cookies, he he! Happy Holidays from a fellow lizard.

  11. Linkmeister says:

    Well said, Commish! Merry Christmas to the entire family!

  12. Empress says:

    Merry Christmas to you!

  13. Lisa says:

    Well said! Happy holidays to you and yours. 🙂

  14. That’s pretty good but there’s one thing you forgot.

    You don’t have to give presents at Christmas.

    Who says making a little money off of it is wrong?

  15. mel says:

    Merry Holidays!!!

  16. Melissa says:

    Merry Holidays and a Happy Christmas to you! I hope you and your family have a pleasant time together. 🙂

  17. Shawn says:

    Did you watch that Christmas special on History last night? 😉

    Well, said.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours! 🙂

  18. Lambchop says:

    Excellently stated, my friend!

    And a very merry holiday to you and the family!!


    (although in your case, I think =e= should at least spring for the whole Chia Herb Garden! *g*)

  19. Sherri says:

    Yay you! And Yay Yule! In fact, everything is so yay yay yay! Ho ho ho!

  20. theresa says:

    Wonderful points you have. Merry Christmas!

  21. Busy Mom says:

    Hey, I resemble that. Merry Christmas, my firend!

  22. Stacey says:

    Very well said. Gifts come and go, family remains. We can’t take it with us, so why accumulate worthless stuff. Hope you have a very happy and merry Christmas. (oh, and came here from Christine’s)

  23. Merry Christmas…

    Merry Christmas all from the dogs and me. Hugs, prayers, and puppy kisses for a good holiday and a good new year. Oh, and go read this. It’s the perfect post for this holiday season. Well said, Solonor.

  24. Happy Ramakwanukkahmas!

  25. Sara says:

    Merry Christmas!! 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful holiday filled with laughter and yummy cookies!

  26. shelli says:

    seasons greetings to you and yours

  27. shelli says:

    seasons greetings to you and yours

  28. Susan says:

    Merry Christmas Solonor –

  29. Susan says:

    My family learned that this year – Christmas is year round. Being a family is Christmas. 🙂

  30. jools says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  31. Becky says:

    What an important message… and truly touching to me in the place I’m at in my life. Thanks for the reminder… and happy holidays to you!

  32. Holiday wisdom

    Just read Solonor’s Christmas Secret and feel completely validated in my feelings about Christmas this year. This is the piece of wisdom I’ve been scratching away at and trying to see clearly for weeks; Solonor just manages to articulate it…

  33. robyn says:

    Belated Christmas greetings and best wishes for a very happy New Year from our home to yours!

  34. Tony says:

    As Brian commented on his site, I would have to agree that you are a wise man. It would be nice to at least try to keep the Christ in Christmas and forget all the strictly commercial nonsense. Maybe we should move Christmas back to August and just not tell anyone… shhhh!

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