December 26, 2010 3:21:13 PM CET
I for one am glad the Christmas season is almost over. And that really is a shame, because this typically is my favorite time of the year. My other half asked why and I explained to him that I have never seen such uninspired lot of people. For most western cultures, it really is a special time of year - even if you are not celebrating Christmas' meaning. Parties, get-togethers, perhaps day trips - something. But here there is just nothing.
I mentioned that I would like to throw a 'white elephant' party. The gift limit would be 25.euro - so it is not large at all. As the host we would have to spend a couple hundred on food, drinks, decorations etc - and my god, the look on that face. First of all, getting past the fact that we would actually spend a few hundred dollars (which we can afford to do) was bad enough, but then that others would have to spend that much money on a gift that costs that much. I explained how it works with the type of gift, the drawing of numbers, 'stealing' the gift etc. First off he said people would not spend that kind of money on someone the don't know - secondly, they would never 'search' for a gift - if they can't buy it at hema or Blokker! (I am amazed at how CHEAP and inflexible such a large portion of the Dutch population can be)
He still claims the Dutch go all out for christmas.
This year it bothered me a bit more than years past. With social media being what it is, I see what my friends and family are doing. I miss the many parties - where you know half of the people - and you meet the other half. Some parties are elegant, but most are fun white elephant parties (as for the white elephant - if you get stuck with a terrible gift, you simply recycle it - and everyone laughs who happens to recognize it - so you are not out any money at all, really) I miss getting a large group together to go to the christmas play. Dinners out, and the big pot luck at xxxx's house - since it is the largest. There were parties every weekend, and dinner out during the week for those friends who's path we would not cross otherwise.
I don't think I would mind missing those things if we replaced them with something else, but just because it is christmas, does not make that cup of coffee and a cookie with the neighbors a party - it really is just cup of coffee.
I just feel like life is passing me by...
This is the end of my rant...
..... and please don't give the the commercialism of christmas thing - because I don't think I mentioned anything that says I want more...
...... and ummmmmm. don't call me a looser expat who can't adapt and chooses to be miserable.
We all know who you are.
..... and yes, I know I can always leave.