Are we ruining Christmas? Or am I just a Grinch?
Walking through town this morning I couldn’t help but notice all the Christmas stock already filling the shelves and festive décor embellishing shop window. Christmas day is still over 2 months away and yet elves, tinsel, baubles, gift ideas, lights and even mince pies seem to be literally everywhere. I for one am feeling disheartened and if I’m honest, a little sickened by it all.
Where is the magic? Where is the love? The Christmas message? The excitement when we are bombarded with ‘Christmas’ before winter has even begun? The story I see is one of greed, of want and of a commercial Christmas that feels so far removed from the Christmas’ of my youth; or at least I am more acutely aware of it now.
Of course this festive phenomenon isn’t new to 2019 and isn’t exclusive to Christmas. Easter eggs were filling the supermarket aisles within weeks of welcoming in the New Year and I was spotting Halloween ghosts and ghouls long before the children had even returned to school from their summer break.
The ‘shopping time’ for key annual events and holidays is getting earlier and the period longer. So much so that by the time the big day arrives we are already ready for whatever festival is next. The year flies. What should be special days lose their attraction. It’s strange, the more preparation time we have the more stressful than enjoyable the build up to feels.
I don’t want to be eating mince pies October or hot cross buns in January. I don’t want to see carving pumpkins in the stores in September and I certainly don’t want to see Christmas trees in the autumn!
When things are readily available and in constant sight weeks, even months before the event, the magic can’t help but wear off. It becomes the norm. Children are in a constant state of anticipation which is exhausting not only for the parents but the child also. Festivities loses it sparkle and most importantly the real reason behind the celebrations become lost in a whirl of marketing hype and spending pressure. Greed, expectation and debt prevail over love, thanks, joy and giving.
Maybe I am just a Grinch? Maybe it’s me that’s lost my Christmas sparkle? Either way, this year I’m determined not to buy, decorate or make a thing until December! I want to enjoy the experience in my own time and not feel pressurised into it. I want to be mindful this Christmas. I don’t want to buy for the sake of buying. I don’t want to be gluttonous with festive fare. I want to cherish this Christmas. Feel the cold on my cheeks, delight at the lights, and be in awe of the nativity. I want to sing a carol or three, spend time with neighbours, family and friends, decorate the tree with love not duty and give gifts that mean something. I want to do it all but in my own good time.