Why are we all rushing around like crazy people in the weeks running up to Christmas?
Is it because we’re missing summer so much we have to block out the memory of long summer days with busy-ness?
Is it because Jesus was definitely born on the 25th December and we all need to celebrate his birth?
Or is it because we’ve all been doing it for so long, it’s just become a habit?
So, where do we go from here? The busy-ness involved in the run up to Christmas mostly consists of extra planning and shopping. If the whole family are coming to yours on the big day, beds may have to organized, special dietary requirements may need to be recognized and, oh dear, everyone has to have a gift.
I’ve never been very good at planning Christmas in October but hats off to those who do because it must make for a less stressful December! If you’re at the point now when you have loads more gifts to buy, a limited budget and an overwhelming feeling of inadequacy – don’t despair!
A change is as good as a rest.
First let’s be honest. Are the gifts you’ve yet to buy absolutely necessary or could it be that the recipient of the gift is actually more open-minded to the whole commercial Christmas thing than you thought? And if they are, or if they’re approachable, have a quick chat now to save embarrassing moments later.
For example you could, depending on your relationship,
- Declare poverty
- Declare your reluctance to buy cheap plastic items
- Declare your intention to make gifts this year
Discuss the options with friends and family before you max out the credit card on stuff they may not even want.
Get back to basics perhaps…
Christmas, aside from the religious aspects, should really be a time to get together and spend some quality time as a family or family of friends. If you can’t see them in person, a skype call and a small gift in the post may be the best option.
I remember many crazy, fun and loving moments from Christmases past although I’d be hard-pressed to remember every gift, but then I’m getting on a bit now!
One of my favourite things to do is to make gifts. A small box of home-made candy or a Christmas cake is a welcome gift in most households. Last year, I crocheted a ‘family’ gift of a dozen robin redbreasts with a few chocolate eggs in each to hang on the tree – I didn’t make the eggs but I might this year!
I’ve written extensively on craft and green gift ideas and I’ll list some related posts below should you wish to check them out.
I’ve heard parents say their children will be disappointed if they don’t get the latest device or game, but that doesn’t mean it has to be bought. That may sound mean, but bringing up a whole generation of kids who expect to get whatever they want when they want it sounds a little dodgy to me.
Maybe we should be encouraging our children to share love, compassion and even, dare I say, respect rather than expecting their frazzled parents to spend every penny and more on something that will need updating within a few months.
It all starts with the grown-ups though. I am so lucky and proud of my children and grandchildren who don’t have those expectations and are very happy to share quality time in lieu of expensive gifts. Of course, we lived off-the-land and found off-grid entertainment wherever we could so it’s been kind of instilled into them. 🙂
But with the environment knowledge we have now, many youngsters are understanding the consequences of living in a throw-away plastic world and could easily be encouraged to put up with their device a little longer perhaps.
So, let’s embrace the change and stop filling the pockets of big corporate directors with our hard-earned cash and get back to the basics of sharing love and beauty with our families friends and the world around us.
Have a peaceful and happy December!
P.S. If you have a gardening friend, they may find this downloadable journal really useful – it has monthly garden tips and lots of space for notes.