Christmas is…..Christmas has….

Christmas is… A time of over indulging
Christmas has…. Lost the true meaning of being together with loved ones.
Christmas is ……. Too much about spending and materialism.
Christmas has …..become just another reason to, to…what exactly?

Christmas. What does it mean. What does it really mean?
Do you believe the bible, do you believe in Santa, Saint Nick?
Why do we give presents, and should we give presents?

We have decided to forego Christmas this year. And continually. Until maybe grandchildren come along, but that will be some time way off in the future.
We want to celebrate and concentrate on what we believe, and what matters most. Birthdays and being with family and friends.
When I sent out the email saying we weren’t doing presents, I don’t think I presented it properly, and had a mini heated discussion on the phone with a sister (was not in the right frame of mind and therefore should not have phoned her) about beliefs and the like.
We are not religious. The basis of Christmas is about celebrating Jesus’ birthday, and gift giving. So if we don’t believe, as most of Australia doesn’t, why do we take on the whole stress, consumerism and materialistic nature of the beast that is Christmas. We, personally, have always said its about being with family and friends. Good food, good company.
Over the last few years we have gradually let Christmas disappear from our calendar. When hubby was working on the 25th we would do it on a different day (no issue there) but it has come down to the simple fact of buying things things that are bought for what reason exactly. The stress and worry, not to mention the costs. When the kids (nieces and nephews galore) were all younger I could get away with small gifts, and then there are the adults, and partners. So many gifts. Not needed, not enough thought and for what. Because of something we don’t believe in.

Back to this year. It was all a little confusing, and awkward, with no gifts being passed around, so my boys got theirs (from their grandparents) the next day (When we were all present as a family of five). It is awkward to buy for teenage boys without spending a fortune, but my mum did well. A keepsake item and some chocolates. A beautiful, but boyified present. Did we buy them anything, even if we don’t buy anyone else anything? No. Our idea was that we drip feed them. Throughout the year they get what they need, things they want as we can afford it, rather than saving it up to give it all at once. And missing out on gaming fun with their online friends. As for nieces and nephews, (We have 12) giving one decent present a year, rather than trying to find multiple for each person. As they get older they also want the things you can’t expect others to give them.

The more I see of gift giving the more hypocrisy I see. All these people who have no religious bone in their body, spending to the hilt, getting stressed at family members (and everything else) for what. A tradition, a belief, something that has no actual meaning in their life.
Not buying gifts is not a new thing, but most people are so wrapped up (pun intended) with the idea that they have to go and spend money, that the mere mention of not buying gets them in a tizzy, and they become lost. If they can’t go nuts of buying then what is the point, what do they do. Spend that time and money on catching up with friends, enjoying a great feast. Kermis importantly, pamper yourself. If you are not happy an relaxed, the. It makes it harder to function. Especially here, as it is summer holidays, and end of the school year.

My sister when she came for our Christmas lunch, said she felt awkward not bringing anything. Oops, not my issue. We made our decision, and are comfortable with it. Yes, I know this will make me sound selfish or greedy, but I didn’t say you weren’t allowed to. I just said we weren’t doing presents. At the same time, we don’t expect presents either. But don’t let our decisions change the way you do things, or what you believe in. I’ve seen plenty of presents given to kids then ignored them completely, making it all about the spending and not the thought of what is given. Is that really what Christmas is all about? I’d much rather no presents and have interaction, with people come and see me (or us visiting them) It’s not a contest.
I read also about Christmas gift giving being about showing our family and friends how much we care. Why does it have to be on one particular day, I would rather surprise people with something during the year, a special birthday present rather than the whole hog of stress and spending when I don’t need to. It means so much more. Although a little contradictory to my point, I really like try idea of Thanksgiving for this reason. It’s not religious, and if we all want to thank someone, something, then we can do it equally. Even on that day though, do we go need to be giving gifts.

I love the look of Christmas, the colours, the decorations and everything that surrounds it, but without the belief, they mean nothing. It’s all baubles, and trinkets and nothing more. I actually felt less stressed than I have in a long time since we made our decision, and as it was for previous years, where we had an early Christmas, much more relaxed when at the supermarket or out shopping (for other things) as I wasn’t fighting for the last item here, or the biggest ham.
Christmas for us has come down to simply belief. The belief that is it about being with family and friends. It’s the enjoying good food (something different and special), good wine and good company. Not about who got what, and how much.
What happens next year will remain to be seen, hubby will still be at work, but if it’s just another day, then does it really matter?

I know this may cause some anger and debate coming so close the Christmas, but it has taken me sometime to write this, but I had to write it. You may or may not agree with me, and that is fine, I’m not asking you to either way. It is our decision, our thoughts, my blog, my rules.

Have a safe and happy holiday season, whatever you celebrate.
Jennifer πŸ™‚


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