Monday, 22 December 2014

Christmas 2014 - not doing the present thing

Hello Readers,

Photo from Pinterest
So it's only 3 days until Christmas. I'm down at my parents, and we will be having a Christmas meal, just the 3 of us, but we're not doing presents. Antony's death has changed things somewhat, so a quiet Christmas is best suited to us this time round. Although I wasn't originally planning to do presents anyway. And to be honest, it feels quite good to do things a bit differently. I think everyone should go at least one year without buying any presents, and instead focus on the things that really matter .. family, friends, nature, Facebook .. ok the last one was tongue in cheek, but hopefully you get my point .. the commercial side of Christmas has got way out of hand, and it's about time this issue started to be properly looked at. I'm partly rebelling against this aspect of Christmas.

Obviously, if you have kids, Christmas will be different, and hopefully fun. But the pressure to buy things for your children and keep up with the Joneses has reached unsustainable levels. I heard about one person who committed suicide because she didn't have enough money to buy the right Christmas presents for her kids. Recently, I read about the very sad case of an elderly couple who were short of money and struggling, but felt that they had to buy presents for the grandchildren, potentially risking their health over winter in the process. This really shouldn't happen. It is very sad if people feel they are 'bad' for not buying their children or grandchildren presents. At the end of the day, it's not worth risking your own well being for the sake of just one day. Unfortunately, Christmas has become a time when some people spend more than they should - where love is measured in terms of money spent.

Now if you enjoy Christmas and you want to buy lots of presents, then that is fine. But I would imagine that many people buy Christmas presents out of duty rather than because they truly want to. Also, many people buy with the expectation of something in return. As a very wise friend of mine said - 'A gift given with expectations of something back is not a true gift'. It's sad how people, and no offence women, but it is mainly women - place so much importance of buying x amount of presents for Christmas, and feel that they have to buy so much. It almost blows my mind that some people start Christmas shopping as early as September - no offence to anyone who does things, but I could not even imagine doing that.

I just want to question the whole ethos and culture of Christmas. Do you ever sit back and think what it is all about? Do you actually truly want to buy presents for relatives that you hardly know? Is it really worth buying that extra soap set? Or do you feel that you would be mean and selfish if you didn't buy that thing that you're not sure the person would like anyway?

I guess I just want Christmas to become more truly meaningful again, because, whatever the true meaning of Christmas is meant to be (and that is open to much debate) - it has mostly become completely lost amidst the commercial madness of today. True giving is not about spending lots of money on your credit card and then struggle to pay it back. True giving is not about how many people or relatives you buy for. It should be about doing the best you can with what you have. Surely children would prefer to be loved rather than receive lots of presents. Christmas is a very stressful time for too many people, and it really shouldn't be.

I think that not buying presents this year could help me to see Christmas in a new perspective. I hope it does. Christmas hasn't really done much at all for me over the last 10/15 years.

Anyway, hope you make the best you can out of Christmas this year x

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