Christmas Cheer or Dread?
Christmas can be a magical time of year. As a child I loved Christmas! I loved the family getting together, I loved the decorations , Christmas Carols, I loved the Christmas tree and its flashing lights, how everyone seemed to be nicer to each other, the delicious treats my mother made , Gammon and Turkey and all the other treats we were allowed at only this time of the year. I obviously loved the gifts, but to be honest if I look back at my childhood memories the gifts play a small role in why I loved Christmas.
Over the past few years I have become a bit jaded about Christmas. I still love it and what it represents, the feeling that the real reason for Christmas has been hijacked by commercialisation and consumerism. A quick browse at my Instagram or Facebook feed shows tons of Bloggers, Influencers and companies telling us what to buy for our loved ones. I laughed out loud at one lady had a post about “the perfect stocking filler” it was a R15 000.00 ring! Who in their right mind thinks that is a stocking filler? Mom bloggers have lists of “the must have toys” often these toys are priced into the R1000.00’s. No wonder come January, no one has any money.
A few weeks ago, a friend was almost in tears as she couldn’t afford the gift her 7-year-old wanted. Recently retrenched from her Job just affording the basics was a huge financial pressure. So, what did her child want the new iPhone 11! Why? Because his friend was getting one. There are many things that a 7-year-old needs more than a brand-new phone. I’m not saying don’t buy your child nice things but be realistic about it. To much screen time is dangerous for developing brains and is a huge issue.
This year I have taken a step back from all the craziness around the season. Christmas is the season for giving. Gifts come in many shapes and guises; the gift of time, the gift of a shoulder to lean on and the gift of a helping hand.
Em is getting a few gifts this year. She is getting one big gift, which is something she needs. We are not going all out as she will get a few gifts from family that are coming to visit. I would rather spend time with her making a gingerbread house or take her to Carols By Candlelight than buy her a gift that she will play with for 5 minutes and forget.
I want Em to remember this holiday for the real reasons it is special, not the commercialized and consumeristic side. Recently I spoke to two ladies who have introduced wonderful Christmas Traditions. Instead of a traditional advent calendar they have a Kindness Advent Calendar, where each day leading to Christmas they do an act of kindness and another who does a reverse advent calendar, where every day she adds an item to a basket ( something small like soap, toothbrush , wash cloth) the day before Christmas she goes and delivers the basket to a person in need.
Merry Christmas to you and your family. I hope that 2020 is prosperous year for everyone.