For those of us who celebrate Christmas, it is creeping up ever quicker so it seems. It only seems a week or so ago that November began, now it is nearly the end.
I’m expecting an explosion of decorations and lights to start appearing around the neighbourhood from this weekend. I do like Christmas, but not until it’s nearer the actual date. The only thing I do do before mid December is the gift buying for the family. Not only does it spread the cost a bit, (not that we spend vast fortunes, don’t have any anyway, and if we did, we still wouldn’t) it also means I can forget about it all until I need to. It avoids the rush and panic buying; and if ordering online, if bad weather suddenly turns up, then there aren’t issues with deliveries not being made in time.
We will not be getting into the Christmas spirit here until late-mid December at the very earliest. I would never go as far as my Mother used to. As a child we weren’t allowed to put the decorations up until Christmas Eve. Often in the hour before we had to go to bed. That is a little extreme, however the only plus side is that as soon as the decorations were got down from the loft and put up, then we KNEW it was Christmas. And I think that intensified the excitement you experience over the date as a child and even in a way as an adult.
I’m sure a lot of families who put up decorations really early (And I’m aware a few around here already have!!!) will surely be bored or less excited by the time the actual day comes around? In my opinion, it dilutes the excitement, it makes it become a more normal occurrence by over exposure over time. An extreme analogy I know, but if everyone suddenly started walking around naked, then over time no-one will really notice or be bothered by it anymore. To begin with they would. They’d point and stare, but eventually it would become a norm. That is what’s happening with the festivities and pleasure from Christmas. We are bombarded with Christmas earlier and earlier every year it seems. There is nothing wrong with waiting until nearer the time. We all know it is coming, it strangely occurs on the same date every year without fail. So lets keep it for that date, or certainly just a little bit before. Not weeks and even months in some cases.
Alongside it happening earlier, and earlier, it is also becoming more and more commercialised…..£7m on a department store advert, just for Christmas is bonkers, it’s less and less about what Christmas is really all about. That kind of money would be better spent helping those who are unfortunate enough not to have family around them at this time of year, or a roof over their head.
Christmas has it’s roots in so many different beliefs, many of which predate Christianity, so no matter what your background, Christmas time is about gathering together with our loved ones during the darkest, coldest times of the year, and sharing warmth, love, and good wishes for the coming year. It doesn’t really matter how much you spend on your loved ones in gifts, or how many lights you have up outside your house, and in it. Those core central values that are the same across all belief systems are the ones that remain important.
So keep the real, true excitement alive. Save a bit of the Christmas spirit and preparation to nearer the time. Enjoy the next few weeks, without panicking about the latest trendy toy to give your kids, or rushing to put decorations up and competing with the neighbours over who’s got the best light display. These things really do not matter, but those core central values do. Love, friendship, families and togetherness are what count. Those are the things that last a lifetime, unlike the latest fads and trends which will soon be gathering dust along with the Christmas decorations after January.