I’m not sure Christmas works anymore.
Not like the way it used to.
Not the way we imagine it.
I don’t think this is because I’m old, cynical, broken, tired and worn out, I think it’s because Christmas doesn’t work anymore.
Everybody, it seems, ‘runs to the alter’ of Christmas these days without thinking or considering what they’re doing, what it’s for and most of all what it teaches those who come after us.
This is not a rant from an old miserable ba***rd, I genuinely love Christmas.
I love the quietness because almost everybody shuts down.
I love walking my dog when there is no traffic.
I love the time with my kids and my family, the candles, the fire, the relaxation and the laughter.
What I don’t love is:
- Thoughtless presents (most presents)
- Christmas cards
- Over eating and drinking
- Over spending
- Competition in consumption
- Showing off (my Christmas is better than your Christmas)
Years ago I stopped sending Christmas cards because I hated receiving them saying “To Colin and Family” sent to me by people who don’t even know my children’s names.
I hated finding those cards in my bag in January considering what an utter waste they are.
This will be the second year we don’t have a Christmas tree (we have Christmas decorations and they look great). We thought about a tree and decided it was a load of nonsense to ship something from Norway to put in our living room for a couple of weeks and then throw it in the skip at the dump.
I haven’t asked for anything for Christmas (or for my birthday) because I am the man who has everything and what could you possibly give me that would make my life better than it is now.
There is no wonder in me opening presents only to be the one who puts all the paper in the recycling bin half an hour later.
The worst thing though is when I talk like this (this is the first time I’ve written about it openly) people accuse me of being “miserable”.
When I suggest we reduce what we buy our children for Christmas some people look at me like I’m advocating child abuse.
We recently wrote on my sons birthday invitations suggesting that people didn’t need to bring him a gift. Everybody brought him one.
If you were the type of family who suggested people made a donation to charity instead of bringing your son (who has everything he’ll ever need) a present they would look at you like you were some kind of weirdo; some sort of idiot who wants to deny their children of the best things in life.
Maybe it’s time for us to try something at Christmas that is a little bit different. Maybe it’s time we understand that just by buying Christmas cards that say they’re from Oxfam doesn’t mean we’re giving back enough to places where they perhaps don’t eat until they feel sick on Christmas day.
I am not religious but I do love the holiday at the end of December where I reconnect with my family and reconnect with myself; where I can appreciate how beautiful that time of year actually is.
No Christmas cards please.
Blog post number: 1483