Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Open Letter to Our Family & Friends About Why We're Skipping "Christmas" This Year


November 13, 2013

Dear Family & Friends,

This year we are skipping "Christmas." Yep, you read that correctly, we aren't "doing" "Christmas" this year. So, for those of you who usually buy us gifts, we kindly ask that you please skip our names this season [seriously, this is not a joke]. Yeah, yeah, I know it's tempting to start calling us anti-Christmas names, but before you do, please hear me out.

My favorite holiday has always been Thanksgiving. Why? Because it's a meaningful, "warm," cozy, family-centered, and overall delicious holiday. Countless hours are spent preparing the food in the kitchen, friendly football games are played [and watched], many people participate in service activities, some folks attend church to give special thanks, and the entire day is devoted to quality time with family and friends. In the evening nothing is expected of anyone except a delicious meal, meaningful conversation, and the eventual food coma (btw, did you know it's *not* the turkey that makes you drowsy? Just thought you should know).
Commercial break: Is it me or did Christmas arrive way earlier this year? I remember going to Costco in AUGUST [it was still 90 degrees out] and seeing Christmas items up for sale. I think I stopped and stared for a couple of minutes before gaining my composure again. What happened to enjoying every season/holiday as they come? Oh, and let me not even start about the stores this year in preparation for "Black Friday." Some are going to be open all through Thanksgiving. What has happened to us? Why are we so obsessed with buying gifts? Here's a thought--why not gift quality time to the people you are buying gifts for instead of spending your Thanksgiving standing in line for a material thing (something that will not even last) for them? Sadly, at this rate, I wouldn't doubt people skipping Thanksgiving all together in the years to come. Let's wake up people. Life is not only about material things.

**Okay, back to the letter.**

Before you jump to conclusions, I just want to personally say I truly love Christmas!
I love the warm, fuzzy feeling when the songs come on;
I love the Christmas programs at churches, performance centers, and schools;
I love helping others in different service events;
I love decorating my home with shiny decorations including my nativity set;
I love drinking hot chocolate and watching "Home Alone" and "Charlie Brown Christmas" with family;
I love going out to checkout the Christmas lights on all of the homes;
I love baking sweet treats with loved ones;
I love visiting the National Christmas Tree here in DC;
I love visiting NYC to see the store windows (especially Macy's);
I love hearing about the true meaning of Christmas; and
I love the quality time [whether it includes dinner or not] with family and friends.

Whew, that was a lot of love, but you see I *DO* love the real Christmas.

 What we do not love is the commercialism part of Christmas. Granted, we do enjoy the occasional fabulous deals at the stores, but the entire Christmas shopping experience puts a damper on the true meaning of Christmas--and to me it's tiresome and unnecessary. Hopefully I don't offend anyone with what I am about to say but in the past I have spent countless hours rushing around in my limited time after work to buy gifts for folks who will not even like the gift or use it. We have all been to those family or friends homes months after Christmas only to see that the gift you gave them months ago is still in it's original packaging. Not a good feeling, right?

This year we will be doing more of the things we love (see the LOVE paragraph above) about Christmas and skipping the commercialized part of it. It's an experiment and don't think we have ever done this before. We will see how it goes for us this year. Who knows, maybe next year we will go back to our shopping ways, but with a twist--only time will tell.

We challenge you as well to take a step back [either figuratively or literally] and think about what Christmas really means to you.
We love you and look forward in spending quality time with you this season.


Anissa [and Hec]


  1. Totally agree with you about the commercialism! It's very easy to get distracted by it. I don't see a problem with you guys skipping on it and I'm sure your friends will understand. For the last 5-7 years my family and I haven't taken part on gift exchanges or putting up the tree, lights. But we still get together with friends/family and eat the awesome food! We're not against Christmas. We still take part on the special church service as well. I think it all started a few years back when we just couldn't afford to buy anything. It was kind of a bummer at first but not really lol ? After that year we didn't miss it as much. It's not a big deal now. Every now and then I buy something for my nephews/nieces. But we still love doing the stuff you mentioned on your list as well!

    1. Hi Jess! Thanks for sharing a personal aspect of your life. Glad to hear that you all survived and are content! I pray you are well. :)

  2. Funny because Ricardo and I have been talking a lot about this and were discussing a very similar route

    1. Hi Adalid! Oh really? Wow! What sparked this idea for you both?