The Night Before Grinchmas

Grinchmas 2012When I first started doing the Grinchmas thing a couple of years ago, I didn’t realize it would become an actual thing. At the time it was a reaction to all of the Christians demanding that I say “Merry Christmas” and then telling me I wasn’t allowed to celebrate their holiday because I didn’t belong to their religion (note: I have never had a Jew do this to me; apparently it’s a Jesus related thing). So I started telling people Rob Whoville! instead because I wanted them to embrace the meaning behind the month of December, let their hearts grow three sizes, and stop being dicks.

Yeah, that effort has pretty much been ignored as I ended up shaming a bunch of people on Facebook for crying persecution and saying they’re not allowed to say “Merry Christmas” DURING HANUKKAH. Seriously. It’s things like this that just aggravate my spiteful spirit. The more you say I have to, the more I do the opposite.

Anyway, that’s not what I meant about Grinchmas becoming a thing. It’s become a thing FOR ME.

Without much intention, I’ve found myself attaching behaviors and beliefs to the concept and forming traditions in regards to my made up holiday. Giving of myself is a big part of it. It comes from being broke. I can’t buy wonderful, awe-inspiring gifts and frankly, I shouldn’t have to. Instead, I give little things that I think someone will like and/or use. I want to give useful things. I want to make things for people.

This year, if I didn’t make the gift, then I bought it with Amazon gift cards I’ve been hoarding. Or I spent as little as possible on ready made items to assemble into a gift. That’s right. I tried to not spend any actual money on anyone. I wanted to give as much from myself as I could without coming across as stingy or cheap or in general an asshole.

Now, I probably will anyway. People are so conditioned in this day and age to go broke proving their love for friends and family by buying them as much as possible. Because I didn’t, I’m going to look like a dick. The exception might be my nieces because I’ve been giving them various handmade items for Christmas most of their lives. They’re used to Aunt Kiki not spending money on them, but spending time and creativity on them instead. (Besides, those kids are spoiled anyway; they don’t need me spending any more money on them.)

I’m not knocking anyone else’s holiday celebrations. If it makes you feel good by going into debt for your loved ones, then hey, rock on. I don’t pay your bills. Everyone should get to celebrate the way they want to. I’m just saying that with Grinchmas solidifying into a real holiday practice for me, I’m going up against what is considered normal and proper for the holidays. It’s not going to be understood by most people.

I’m going to be labeled a cheap asshole for celebrating this way. That’s what I’m saying.

And I’m kind of “Oh well” about it. Because it means something to me.

Grinchmas is just as made up as any other holiday. I’m just the only one practicing on it.

The moral of the story is December holidays are about more than free stuff, but in the end, we all like free stuff, so just be happy if you get free stuff from me. It means I care.

Friday Five: Birthday Presents

My birthday is next Wednesday and I, like so many other people, love my birthday. It’s my special day even if I don’t do anything more out of the ordinary than going to McDonald’s for lunch to celebrate it. It’s my day because it’s the anniversary of my birth and therefore, it is automatically a fantastic day.

Also, I like free stuff and birthdays are great for free stuff.

Here are five presents I would love to get for my birthday this year:

1. Tickets to a Cubs game. It’s a sin that I’ve only been to Wrigley twice in my life. Maybe they’d actually win the game so I could hear “Go Cubs Go” in person.

2. Books. I’ve got a whole wishlist of them on Amazon and I am desperately low on new reading material.

3. iTunes gift cards. I love music. I’ve got lists of songs that I’d like to acquire. Some of it recorded after 2001, even.

4. Monkees Present and Changes CDs. Yes, downloadable music is where it’s at, but they’re the last two CDs I need for my collection of original Monkees music (I’m not counting Missing Links vol. 1 and 2; I need those, too, but they’re all outtakes and alternative takes). I’ve got a great collage of the cover art going and I need those two pieces to finish. Also, the music.

5. Donations to The Dempster Family Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a local children’s hospital, or a local humane society or no-kill shelter. One of the biggest bummers to being broke is not being able to contribute as much as I’d like to charities. I think it’d be cool to have people do it for my birthday.

If you read my Christmas list, I bet you were expecting something just as wild and extravagant, huh?

Well, I’m a complex person. Get used to these sorts of surprises.