Sunday, 1 December 2013

My Christmas rant

Okay, so before you assume that I am anti Christmas, I am not totally. The occasion itself is quite nice, and I quite like the pre-Christmas atmosphere, as long as things do not get too crowded. It was rather crowded in York yesterday, not surprisingly.

But what annoys me is that people will buy things on credit, when they are struggling financially, just because they feel they have to. The English rush to buy Christmas presents - seriously, why do people start or even finish in November or even before, please tell me - has got to the stage where it is almost funny. 

My question is - do people buy presents or write Christmas cards because they actually want to, or just because of tradition and duty. Why do British people go so mad over it? Is it because we need something to cheer us up? Interestingly, a friend of mine who now lives in Eastern Europe said that their shops were closed on a Saturday, four weeks before Christmas. 

You could not imagine that happening in the UK. 

Sometimes I wonder whether people buy Christmas presents to make themselves feel like they are a good person. Why would you buy something for a relative you don't get on with? It's crazy. Just to keep the peace and not upset other people? 

And why do family gatherings at Christmas contain the unwritten rule that you have to pretend that things are really okay between you and THAT relative? That you actually like them. I have seen presents addressed 'To Dearest (name) love from (name)' when I know full well that the two relatives aren't necessarily best of buddies. 

So to get me back to my biggest issue with Christmas, the ridiculous over spending and people buying lots of stuff even when they can't really afford it. What is wrong with saying you aren't going to buy any presents this year? One of my family did that once, and I don't think anyone had a problem with it. One of these years, maybe I won't buy anything. Rather, just celebrate the chance to be together with family and/or friends. I totally believe that Christmas presents should not be bought out of compulsion, but because you want to buy them. Of course, if you have children, then things are a bit different. I am not suggesting you don't buy presents for them, and I would hope that any parent would want to buy things for their children if they're still at the stage where they get excited about Christmas. 

But going gung ho and spending too much money just because you think you should - why the need? If you are buying things because you feel really generous and genuinely want to do it - then fab. But if you're buying things just to keep up with the Joneses and keep yourself in the family's good books, then it may be worth checking your motivations. 

Rant over. 

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