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It’s Not Too Late To Make That Holiday Call

Updated on December 16, 2008


I know, the title sounds like one of those ads on television or a catalog that comes in the mail. Everything around us tells us that we still have time to buy that piece of crap thing that we wouldn’t want to get ourselves to give that someone supposedly special. But I’m here to tell you it’s not too late to make that holiday call – Don’t Get Me Started!

The call that I’m talking about is the one that you know you want to make but you’re afraid to make. It’s the call to that loved one or friend you started exchanging gifts with years ago and now it’s more of a burden than anything else. Not that you don’t still love that person or want to get them a gift but there are years (and I’ve had about three of them now) where you’re completely stumped and let’s face it it’s lost that glow of holiday magic and you suddenly feel like “Grumpy The Elf” (a cross between an elf and Grumpy from Snow White). I’m here to tell you that it’s not too late to make THAT call. That’s right, the call that says, “Did you buy me anything yet? If not, how about we don’t exchange gifts this year?”

Last year I made the call to several friends. The first one I have to admit that I didn’t do very well with but by the third one I had found my rhythm.  The idea I had last year was that I would rather spend time with my friends than get a gift from them. The idea isn’t a new one. Basically it’s giving your pals the gift of time. I don’t know about you but time is the most precious commodity I have these days. Well, I’d like to say that it worked great but what it did was alleviate the guilt of the not gift giving but truth be told, the “time” never came to go here or there to spend time with my pals. (You see, my pals are all out of state so you’re not talking about just making sure you meet for coffee once a week with a pal that lives where you live.) What I discovered was that time was indeed a commodity that was so precious that I didn’t let go of it. And what was supposed to give both me and the recipient joy at getting to spend time together just never happened at all. What is they say about the road to hell being paved with good intentions? Well, I always knew I was going to end up in hell but I have to pave the way too? Ugh, too much work.

Well, this year the call came to me. My best gal pal in the world called to check in and eventually the conversation got to where she had intended it to go. After discussing the economy and our frustrations at life in general she told me that she, her husband and kids didn’t need anything this year so if I hadn’t shopped for them she would prefer if I didn’t shop for them at all. Yes! It wasn’t me this year, and the relief was delightful. I also begged that she tell her mother not to shop for us. You see, from high school and right through my twenties, I spent Christmas with her and her family every year. Christmas Eve, her mother and I would pour the wine and wrap gifts. Christmas morning was the big breakfast with the big family they had where tempers always flared and my pal’s Grandmother’s second husband could be guaranteed to say something to piss everyone off. I remember one year he stood up at the table and went on and on about aliens. What a show and how much fun that it wasn’t my family (though I certainly feel like a member of their family).

So I thought that I was safe, thought I had covered all my bases. Talked to everyone, decided there would be no gifts and I must say I was feeling pretty good about myself once again. But when you’re a gay Jewish man decent self esteem is always a fleeting matter. Today as I got home from work there it was, the box from my pal’s mother. ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

I thought that I had saved myself and the people I knew from the gift thing this year but ‘twas not to be. So I’m just telling you that even though I’ve had minimal success, I believe in the concept of giving someone your time instead of a sweater or gift card. I believe in friendship being worth more than a present. So don’t be afraid, I can tell you that no matter what happens it will all be just fine.  It’s not too late to make that holiday call – Don’t Get Me Started!

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    • somelikeitscott profile image

      somelikeitscott 8 years ago from Las Vegas

      Make the calls - see you in March! :) Scott

    • denise mohan profile image

      denise mohan 8 years ago from California

      Nice hub Scott. I've been checking out your UTUBES and feel like I know you now. I am going to find you and bug you when I come to Vegas in March, now don't tell me u will b out of town then!!! You're a wild and crazy guy (unlike Steve), with a brain and a big heart. I was worried about sending a couple of packages this year. GREAT HUB I am now going to make the calls...

    • somelikeitscott profile image

      somelikeitscott 8 years ago from Las Vegas

      Nicole, those who know and truly love you will understand that gifts aren't the important thing about a holiday season. On the other hand, where's my Chia pet you promised me? Remain calm and have a great holiday. Scott

    • Nicole Winter profile image

      Nicole A. Winter 8 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Aw, somelikeitscott, here I thought from the opening lines this would be an uplifting hub on getting back in contact with those family members and friends of long-ago... the people who you keep meaning to call but just can't quite bring yourself to do so. I like the idea of giving friends time. Face time, phone time, some piece of yourself... you're right, it is a precious commodity. And there are always going to be those people who no matter how many times you tell them they don't have to buy anything for you they will still run out and get a gift for you. I'm unemployed this year, so Christmas shopping just isn't happening. I'm hoping people will just understand that.