Sunday, November 22, 2020

Hostage for the Holidays


Hostage for the Holidays
Here we are, less than a week before Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and the disruption to normal life that is the Christmas season.

Bah Humbug.

Actually I'm not against the idea of Christmas, but the execution is usually not that much fun for me. I spent far too long working retail and let's be honest: in general people suck and the stress of the season all too often brings out the worst in them.

I'm no longer in retail (and hope I never have to go back), so that holiday stressor isn't gone. As an alleged adult I don't care if I get Christmas presents or not and I generally don't buy presents for friends and family. Sure I'll set-aside stuff as I see it throughout the year, but I don't get bothered if I don't find something to buy for someone simply for the fact that I have to.....basically I decided that I don't have to anymore.

What I do....do (I know I typed doodoo) is try and make Christmas presents for my immediate coworkers and my family if I know I'll be home for the holidays. Usually it's a food-related "thing" and I put my own spin on it. I enjoy the entire process, well except maybe spending the money because I always go a bit overboard, and sometimes Christmas is more of an excuse to try something out.....

.....I have to admit that I don't always succeed when "trying something out". I still remember the year I thought it'd be cool to make up a bunch of dice bags for my home group and my other gaming friends. That was a HUGE fail. So many felt "squares" went unsewn that year. I think I'd have have been better off just buying everyone a set of dice.....

I'm not sure what I want to do gaming gift-wise for my current home group, but it has to be digital since I'm not in the mood to mail stuff out. I have an idea or two, but I might need some more time to think about that.

Gift giving is just part of the holidays and depending on the point of view it might be the better part. On the flip side, and the part I dislike the most, is that...at least for me, but I suspect a few others here are in the same boat, the holiday season negatively impacts one's ability to game. With all the traditional obligations comes the inevitable stresses and depletion of resources, mostly time and energy.

My group had to cancel our last session....well the GM and a few players were still down to sling dice, but I felt a bit bad doing so without the rest of the group. A big portion of my group are educators and they had online testing and grading to do for their students before the holiday break. I'm not faulting them or the GM (to be fair we could have done a side-quest, but that still felt iffy to me at least), it's just par for the course.

Clearly I'm not a fan of the holidays encroaching into dice time and I'm sure there are plenty of players who are fine with that....doesn't mean I'm any better/worse than they are, no judgement here. Clearly I'm already a bit biased against the season and this is just one other thing to add to the list.....

As the pressures of the season ramp up, and your ability to meet with your gaming family decreases, I hope that you manage to set-aside some time to deal with the pressure and keep connected to your hobby and your fellow players. Maybe chill by reading some RPG-appropriate Appendix N books, or have a short gaming-group Xmas party. 

Whatever you do, keep those dice warm! The sad truth of this season is that there is going to be at least one gamer reading this who has to go a long stretch of not gaming during this holiday and maybe doesn't get back to it for an additional few weeks/months/years. Don't let this be you! Don't become a hostage for the holidays....and beyond!

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