As I browsed the Christmas aisles in a department store this week, I could overhear other shoppers talking about their Christmas.
And it got me thinking…
No-one talks about the reason for Christmas very much anymore, just what gift they are getting for themselves or family and friends. Christmas has gone crazy.
No sooner has the last pumpkin been whisked off the shelf, then the Christmas commercials have begun like a marathon race. Stores are piled high with seasonal offerings and whilst I’m yet to hear Noddy Holder across the airwaves, it’s only a matter of time.
Now don’t get me wrong. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Christmas – it’s my most favourite Holiday of them all.
Not that many years ago, I was a corporate career girl, working for a large financial institution. I worked EVERY Christmas. Finishing at 5pm on Christmas Eve, a little earlier if we were lucky, then straight back in the office on Boxing Day. That’s international banking for you. All the presents in the world could not compensate for being away from family and loved ones.
Thomas has been working on his Christmas list all year. For him, it’s simple: Lego. Recently, I had ‘that’ conversation with him, where I explained that Santa may not be able to get (or carry) all the different sets he wanted and he may be disappointed. He didn’t seemed concerned, reassured in his unwavering knowledge that Santa is magic.
I love to shop and buy gifts for others, but Christmas shopping is guaranteed to send me marching to the nearest Starbucks for respite. Shopping to me, is as much about the experience as it is the purchase. I like to leisurely look, touch, browse… seeking out a gift that is perfect for it’s recipient, not simply a gift for givings sake. Shopping preferably without someone’s elbow in my ribs as they jostle to fill their baskets to the brim.
Nowadays, Christmas it seems has morphed into a multi-cultural civil holiday. For many, simply a fun family gathering with a focus on gift giving and over-spending. I’ve heard many stories of parents who put a monetary amount (£100, £250, £500… ) on how much they will spend on each child. Right now, I know that Lauren will be the happiest girl in the world if she gets the purple unicorn she so desperately wants, which I was recently able to catch on sale for less than £5.
This year my goals is to stay calm.
I will not overshop or overspend.
I will bake cookies, drink mulled wine and sing Christmas carols (badly).
Thankful that this year, I’m no longer enslaved to my corporate job and I get to spend that precious time with my family. I want the REAL Christmas.
What does Christmas mean to you? Tell me one thing that you love about Christmas that is not about gifts…