Christmas Obligations

Christmas Conventions - Lights by KD

I have a fairly conventional Christmas week scheduled out over the next four days. All signs point for it to be filled with the usual blend of good times (worth remembering) and frustrating times (worth forgetting) that most holidays seem to have.

It’s good to see people you love; it’s not good to feel trapped in or forced to do something no one really enjoys. Show me the real love and spare me anything passive-aggressive, I say.

It’s good to give gifts; it’s not good to feel a huge sense of pressure over picking out the “right” presents. Despite the decaying worldwide economy, fully 100% of the people in my giving circle don’t lack for much of anything in the way of necessities. We all continue to eat three full meals every day while buying iTunes gift cards for each other at Best Buy.

From my conversations with a wide range of people, it seems that attempting to enjoy the holidays without feeling like a sucker is a fairly common problem. Perhaps next year we’ll cover this in more detail – for now, I’m otherwise occupied with writing this note outside the shopping center, stealing wifi from a nearby hotel so I can post it to you.

I’d love to tell you that I “just don’t have much time” with all of the running around, last minute shopping, and so on – but you’re too smart for that. You’d recognize the heart of the matter: I did not manage to avoid the chaos that surrounds us during a time which should be fun.

Don’t worry; it’s not a prediction of things to come, I promise. I finished up the Annual Review week on a high note and am excited about the future.

I’m also getting ready to publish a new series of posts that are focused entirely on helping everyone who takes the time to read each week. Stay tuned.

How about you — how is your holiday week going?


Image: K.D.

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  • Barbara Winter says:

    Oh, Chris, I’m laughing. Are you in the Midwest right now? Your article brought back memories of Christmas Past in Minnesota! I’ve decided the key to a great Christmas is one with small children involved. It’s been a lot more fun since my granddaughter arrived on the planet. However, my daughter called and told me I had to bring the cheer this year since her in-laws are in turmoil. Ah, it’s only one day! Buon Natale, Barbara

  • Ken says:

    Your $5 hotel doesn’t have WIFI?

  • Llama Chris says:

    Looking forwards to your new series of posts, Chris. I need all the help I can get.

    Have a great Christmas.

  • Chris says:

    Hey guys.


    I’m in the South this week, but it’s about like the Midwest, culturally speaking.


    Great question! Actually, it does… but I was down the street. FYI there are also free “honey buns” in the lobby before 10am – their version of a continental breakfast. Come and check it out sometime.


    Thanks, and Merry Christmas to you as well.

  • The Wyman says:

    Merry Christmas everyone. Sang in the choir Sunday, Our son and four kids drove down from Oregon and looking forward to all the grandchildren, seven, on Christmas morning. Didn’t see much in the way of gifts to get excited about. We gave all three of our boys families a wii game. Shopping done. My wife and I have all we need so just a small gift for each other. Has worked for most of our 51 years of marriage. My goal is to become an expert blogger this year.

  • Ishita Gupta says:

    Hi Chris,
    I just wanted to thank you for all of your effort in writing helpful and motivating (or interesting) posts for us this past year. I’m hesistant to admit i’ve been a bit of a lurker but have enjoyed every single post of yours every Mon/Weds/Fri. But i couldn’t just sit here any longer and not let you know how much you truly benefit myself and countless others i’m sure…I’ve been a devoted reader for about a year and downloaded the unconventional guide (thank you!) you put out a few months back. I think you do a great thing for all of us out there who are gearing up to do something big, something unconventional, something to help others…Thank you very very much for everything that you do, i’m so grateful that i stumbled upon your blog and upon your non-conformist thoughts! You inspire me and that’s no joke….I hope you have a warm and peaceful holiday season with your family. I try to do all my important and deep thinking, writing, meditating in the morning before everyone wakes up, thats my tip for the holidays! xo ishita

  • Success Professor - Danny Gamache says:

    I’m in the midwest this week visiting my wife’s family! 🙂 Your post reminded me of this website I came across recently.

  • Judy says:

    Last Saturday I got myself a couple of Chrysler Imperial rose bushes (yes, I live in the South), and they had open blooms! They smell like heaven. I had to bring the flowers inside because we got a cold front Sunday night — the bushes are still in their nursery pots tucked into a protected corner next to the house. I don’t have any Christmas decorations, but I love having the roses to smell. And they’re very red. Festive.

  • Rick says:


    Thanks for all the great posts this year. This is the most consistently excellent blog I have found.

    Thanks for the reminder that we United Statesians are really in pretty great shape. We need to remember that those of us in the most need are still better off than 99% of the rest of the planet. That being said, there’s a lot we can do to lift up those less fortunate.

    Enjoy yourself and I hope you avoid feeling like a sucker.

    peace, Rick

  • JE Gonzalez says:

    Happy Holidays and a happy new year one and all. I guess its too PC but whatever. You know, I am not very chatty during the holiday season, nor have I ever had an unpleasant one. 12 years ago, I recieved a Nintendo 64, that was my favorite gift, and such a breakthrough in gaming.

  • R.W says:

    My family decided not to exchange gifts this year. And I couldn’t be happier 😛 The lack of stress is amazing. If it wouldn’t decimate the economy, I would say that everyone should do it.

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