Mardi Link: Give me cold beer and warm feet

·2 min read

Dec. 26—Internet Scrooges this year tried — and in my home at least, failed — to convince us all that gifts are for little kids and no one else.

As #no-giftChristmas trended on social media, self-labeled "influencers" suggested anyone older than, say, 8 or 9, should forego the annual mad dash to prop up capitalistic systems, and instead go on a long run, meditate or travel the world.

"My husband and I can afford whatever we choose to spend on Christmas," one hoity-toity Grinch recently penned to a national advice columnist.

But alas, the traditional pittance she usually spent on family members at the holidays was this year simply too emotionally draining.

"Sigh of relief here," she added breezily, seemingly as an afterthought. "I had not realized how burdensome this random shopping had become."

Lady, I bought my husband a beer fridge for our basement.

And while I used the dolly we keep in the pole barn to heft this new Fridgemaster 440 out of my car, over the front step and into the mudroom, getting that sucker downstairs and upright next to the pool table was indeed a tad "burdensome."

Which is entirely the point.

Expending some effort, whether financially, emotionally or physically, for someone else is an act of love.

Something this world needs more of, not less.

Especially during a years-long global pandemic that has kept so many of us from spending time with our family and friends.

A no-gift Christmas isn't an effort to add meaning to the season, save money or the planet; it's really just a dodge intended to take pressure off the giver.

Look around. The kids aren't the selfish ones, IMHO.

A notion I've honed, I admit, while observing humanity from my favorite chair, cuddled under the wool knit throw my husband gave to me for Christmas.

It's hand-knit and from Ireland and now his beer is cold, my feet are warm, our holidays happy.

I have a sneaking suspicion those who eschew spending money on gifts for — Gasp! — someone else, and instead suggest using shopping and wrapping time for long runs, meditation and world travel, do so because they can afford it.

Consider some examples of #giftstogiveyourself that previously trended online, I found with a web search or on a best-of list:

Balenciaga Triple X track shoes ($1,290 and made in China, where shoe factory workers have faced repeated human rights abuses); a Paul Morelli designer gold meditation bell (a $3,800 copy of an ancient traditional design); first class plane tickets of course, or, for the really hard to buy for person, a 10-minute Blue Origin space flight priced at a reported $55 million.

There's always next year, right?

Hold my purse while I open a Christmas Club account.

Email Senior Reporter Mardi Link at

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