Happy Charm-i-days to you

Ignoring my inner grinch … or making lemonade out of eggnog lattes.

Wrap-ready

Wrap-ready

A couple of weeks ago while I was running errands, I found myself surrounded by holiday decorations and piped-in Christmas music. I automatically initiated my annual cranky interior monologue: an embarrassing, Andy-Rooney-style rant about stores these days, putting out their holiday goods unthinkably early, grasping at every dollar they can and commercializing-slash-ruining every last-gasping day of the year. But I got tired of hearing my monologue as soon as it started, and I decided to embrace the holidays instead. After all, avoiding early holiday onset is impossible: eggnog lattes are on the menu, and wreaths are on the street lights.

That doesn’t mean I’m going to decorate early. And it doesn’t mean I’m going to pretend it feels like Christmas morning every time I see an aisle display of plastic reindeer. But it does mean that I’m going to enjoy the trappings when I see them instead of complaining to myself about our crass, mad world.

So today, I’m rolling out my Charm-i-days gift guide, one seize-the-holiday idea at a time for presents that will create charming experiences and won’t break the bank.

Before the gift guide unveiling …

If you’re craving a more meaningful holiday this year and don’t want to spend senselessly, consider reading Bill McKibben’s Hundred Dollar Holiday: The Case for a More Joyful Christmas – even if his budgetary suggestion is too grinch-like for you, he presents convincing reasons to rethink how we celebrate.

And remember that for some of us, the day after Thanksgiving is Buy Nothing Day.

Hundred Dollar Holiday, $12
Deciding not to complain about early onset
holiday, free

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