Friday, November 29, 2013

simple gifts

I have always championed a return to a more simpler season : Less is More
The rampant commercialism of the holidays is nothing new. It predates A Charlie Brown Christmas, Macy's & the shopping mall.
Growing up, I was a slightly obsessed creator of my own gifts; quilting, gluing, cutting & constructing. As an adult, I mashed-up the hand-making habit with a conscientious choosing of perfect gifts . . . loving shopping or making just the right item.
My point here - I understood the importance of the holidays, starting with the costumed entrance into fall of Halloween, the autumnal family feast of Thanksgiving and the lighted & wonderful delights of Christmas.
Now, from my first job to my last . . I have always been in service industries. From hotels, to motels, animal care, flower shops & coffee stops ….
Always open = to be of service
 In our twenties, we moved to the front range of Colorado.  And I recall some public outrage over movie theaters being open on the holidays . . . what blatant crass commercialism !!!
"Who would dare go to a movie on a holiday & make those poor people be away from their families on a holiday!"
Well, we would.
It was not always financially possible, or heck, even emotionally possible to make the 8 hour trip home for the holidays. So we would work. My husband & I also spent those early years trying to get pregnant, so that added a certain bend. Our holidays were spent cleaning kennels, or working long hotel shifts, so our co-workers with children could be home with their families.  We were not anything special, so don't think this was some sort of altruistic path - other friends did this too - it was just logical.  Then we would grab a meal at McDonalds while longingly staring at couples with little ones before catching a late movie. We were thankful for fast food restaurants & movie theaters being open!  After a few years, we weaved together a posse of friends that became our family - we loved them as such … and celebrations grew into wonderful events, but always around doing the work-thing first.
Businesses, big corporations, small mom & pop places, hospitals, our military & first responder services, shelters; both human & critter will be open.
It's been going on for awhile, and some things we have no control over.
Being open, providing the place and space to work …. provides a sense of purpose, spirit and connection that becomes home.  
Folks work, and believe it or not .... some really like to.
And maybe, just maybe, their 'family' is found with those they work with.
So please tread carefully when defining holiday and family, when pounding your fist & demanding that folks don't shop on Black Friday, or run somewhere at midnight on Thanksgiving evening to get their deal on, or go to the movies.
There are a bizillion jobs that go on regardless of the date on the calendar.
and sometimes ….
'Family' is found standing behind a concession stand, creating display windows for the holidays, printing our newspapers,  serving sushi at a hot-tub-nudist holiday
(uh, yeah, this really happened …)
running our hospitals, rescuing animals,
or dealing with the hurly-burly of midnight shopping.
Maybe if we spend less time trying to control things, and just try to bring our own simple gifts into everything we do ;
make connections, smile and be kind.
Maybe then the world will be a little more ok
with a little more love
found in the spin.
Happy Thanks + Giving Everyone . .


  1. A lovely post, Susie. And a wonderful sentiment!

  2. I agree w/ Niamh , you wrote some touching words w/ an important sentiment. When I was a kid I thought my family would treat me differently if I spent my baby sitting money on and bought expensive. It didn't matter. In my home now we give presents when you feel them. A time of year or a specific holiday should not make you have to act a certain way. It should be natural. Your making presents should mean more. Wanting to be with who you share the holidays with is what is important. Nice Susie. Have a great time this year. I mean that from my heart. Jennifer <3 j.k.