I don't care for the holidays. I will admit, at least a part of that is just me being contrary, but regardless, more than half of it is a philosophical aversion to the commercialism and resulting sense of obligation that comes with gift-giving. I get a bit overly sensitive about it all, and I get a little reluctant to participate in even the more pure Christmas activities, even though they're not really about the whole gift thing.
And so it was this evening, as the family headed to a friend's place for the annual Christmas Eve get-together. Were the decision left solely to me, we would have stayed home. But my partner likes these things, and they're tradition for her... So I took some time this afternoon and made a lasagne, and then off we went to our friend's place.
In addition to my lasagne, there were some awesome chicken wings, shumai and egg rolls... cheeses and sausages (moose and caribou - very tasty), some bread pudding, baclava, wine and other drinks... all in all a very nice spread.
Three generations were represented, all the way from an expectant mother, a toddler, some pre-teens and late teens, the 20, 30 and 40-somethings, and the expectant mother's father. There was good conversation, lots of laughing, and a few gifts exchanged. Unlike past years, there was no Christmas music, no board games... just good friends and good conversation.
The highlight of the evening, however, is something that couldn't have happened just a few years ago. Someone's phone rang, and someone else decided they liked that ringtone. Suddenly a crowd gathered, bluetooth phones whipped out and turned on, and everyone was swapping and demonstrating their ringtones.
21st Century Christmas: Spreading joy through grey-market copyright infringement.