Too much stress? Try Springmas — Kevin Wilson

Happy Hannukah. Merry Christmas. Happy Kwanzaa. A Festivus for the rest of us. But if the holidays bring stress, think about a Springmas.

Confused? Unless you’re my friend Shannon or the NSA, you have no idea what I’m talking about. Let’s change that.

s-kevinwilson19.jpgTwo weeks ago, I texted Shannon to ask what she wanted for Christmas. She said she couldn’t take all the pressure, and she’d get back to me later. Strange, thought I, but her delay will give me time to think of what I want when she asks me the return question.

The following week, Shannon texts me, but not with a gift idea. She has a friend where she lives, and she’s coming up to where I live for a family function. She wants us to meet.

We do meet. I find out some about her, she finds out some about me, but half of the conversation turns out to be her relatives, who like to make the same points over and over. We would have done dinner to talk more, but she needed to get on the road if she had any hope of sleeping that night.

Shannon calls, “So did Elaine (not her name) and you hit it off? What did you talk about?”

I respond, “Yeah, she’s great; we get along really well. But let me tell you all about her Grandfather Jim (not his name) and how much he hates the trash can regulations from his homeowners’ association.

“While I’ve got you, Shannon … had you thought about what you wanted for Christmas?”

I asked with some trepidation, as I hadn’t thought of anything I needed. My Christmas wish list to my family was three items worth a combined $108, but I bought two of the items when I found a half-off sale and reasoned it’s better I buy it than have relatives spend extra.

“Kevin, I’m at a point in my life where I don’t want you to buy me things I want; I want you to buy me things I need,” she said. “And I can’t think of anything that fulfills that. What if we were to push our Christmas to March, then push our birthdays (May and June, respectively) to September?”

This made sense on many fronts:

• I can accumulate less holiday debt, which means more money to pay the routine bills that are fast approaching (yes, I’m the dummy who negotiates vehicle registration and car, dental and health insurance to expire inside six weeks).

• We’ll be in clear positions to know what we want, or more specifically, what we need.

• We won’t be sucked in by Black Friday prices, which give heavy discounts on things that are rarely necessary. My parents always taught me that an item on sale doesn’t save you money if you never had to buy it in the first place.

• If we decide on Springmas stockings — and doesn’t that sound better anyway? — we’ll have two opportunities at clearance candy, should we go that route, because between Christmas and Springmas are 50 percent and 75 percent deals on tree- and heart-shaped sweets.

I’ll still do Christmas with most friends and family, but I’m doing a countdown to Springmas. Well, whenever we decide which day in March it will be.

I’m going to guess the 31st. I’m not optimistic we’ll think of good gifts before then, either.

Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Clovis Media Inc. He can be contacted at 763-3431, ext. 313 or by email:

kwilson@cnjonline.com

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