This year has got me thinking….. each year my family ask me what I would like for Christmas and we all try and come up with lists of things we can buy each other…. and somewhere along the line the magic has gone. Christmas starts to feel like a chore. You watch TV and see the adverts of the glossy families who buy the perfect presents and whose lives are obviously made complete by shopping at xyz supermarket for their Christmas feast. It seems that the modern meaning of Christmas is one of consumerism and we have lost something along the way. We are all so busy in our lives we over compensate by buying Christmas presents fuelled by the advertising frenzy when we know in our heart of hearts that when the batteries have gone flat on the £250 robot it will be stuck in the back of the cupboard until someone takes it to the tip…. Christmas has been “sold” to us to such a degree that the real meaning and magic has been lost and what we are all left with is the feeling that our Christmas isn’t quite “good enough” compared to the totally unrealistic image of Christmas that we are constantly shown.
I’m not a Christian and for me Christmas is a time to get together with friends and family and enjoy ourselves (people were doing this long before Christianity was started), it’s a celebration that the darkest day of Winter is behind us and we have the warmth and longer days of the summer to look forward to and in this sentence is the key word, time. Our lives are busier now that they have ever been and technology encourages us all to spend more time working and less time with friends and family. I think the most valuable thing we can give our friends and our family is our time and our talents. By this I mean our undivided time, not time when we are still taking calls on our mobiles, or texting other people or on social media but really spending time with the people that mean most to us. Use your talents, whatever they are, cook your friends a delicious meal, play them your latest song and build on the bonds that you already have. Give them a gift of something you have made, after all I’m yet to meet someone that wouldn’t love some homemade biscuits, a jar of chutney or a bottle of sloe gin and the real value is in the time that you have taken out of your life to make it especially for that person. You may be surprised at how much it means to someone to know the time and care you have put in to their gift.
So, let’s take back Christmas from the multi-national corporations that will never be happy (or encourage us to be happy !) until we have spent our last pound with them and put the real meaning back of a time of celebration and friendship.