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Perspective: How I learned to stop worrying and love the holidays


I enjoy the winter holiday season. The weather, music, lights. The feeling of community.

However, what I don’t enjoy is the retail orgy that goes along with it. That’s why, maybe a dozen years ago, I said No Mas.

It wasn’t even the money. It was the stress. The deadlines. The incessant chase to find the perfect gift.

I reached the breaking point one year when two extended family members shared catalog item numbers on their gift lists. Essentially, I’d been tasked with doing their shopping. As Frank Costanza said when he invented Festivus, “There had to be a better way.”

That better way was taking my family out of it. We stopped exchanging with the adults, dropping our stress level immediately. It caused some resentment, some of which probably still lingers to this day.

However, I’m a grownup. If I want or need something, I buy it. And I’ve reached the point in my life where “stuff” pales in comparison to time spent with family and friends.

Sure, my wife and I still exchange some gifts with our kids but we’ve always prioritized experiences over stuff. Memories of trips and events and time spent together linger far longer than anything we could give or receive.

I don’t want to snow on anyone’s holiday parade. If you run downstairs on Christmas morning “quivering with desire and the ecstasy of unbridled avarice,” as Ralphie and his family did in A Christmas Story, have at it. Maybe everyone does need a Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock. That’s just not my cup of eggnog anymore.

For now, enjoy the holiday season however you celebrate. And remember: if you’ve been invited to come out to the coast and have a few laughs and attend the Nakatomi Corporation’s annual Christmas party in Los Angeles, please keep your shoes on.

I’m Wester Wuori, I believe Die Hard is absolutely a Christmas movie, and that’s my Perspective.