Well done Alan. Being involved in such things are very sobering experiences.
Aren’t you the lucky one
Not wishing to split hairs but I prefer to think of myself as fortunate rather than lucky. Lucky implies things just feel into place, whereas the reality is that we have been fortunate to have been able to craft & work on family Christmas traditions over many years that suit us.
Many years ago when I was a member of Round Table we spent Novembers and early Decembers raising money for those who relied on Meals on Wheels for their Christmas Dinner. When we had raised the money it was then spent on extras for these people such as tins of biscuits, fruit, meats, plus others that needed the least effort to open and turn into a meal. Also a Christmas Cake, chocolates and Christmas card signed by all the tablers. On Christmas morning we used to attend at Social Services collect the meals and along with our contributions deliver the meals and extras. It was my first outing that made me realise how many poor, aged and sick people there are whose only visitor on that day was us and in some cases ours was the only Christmas card they had. I have never forgotten this.
Christmas campaigns before halloween
Aren’t you the lucky one @Coolonespa. I’ve been seeing Christmas fare in the shops since September.
But surely, it’s up to each of us to decide how, or even whether, we want to celebrate Christmas. From volunteering our time at a charity, to going at it full pelt and (literally) buying into every little bit of glitz and bling on offer.
If you feel unhappy about how things went when it’s all over, plan for something different next year. You could, for example, total up everything you’ve spent on an unsatisfactory series of seasonal events, and spend that amount on providing a well or a school where it will be appreciated. Or on growing some trees. Something helpful to our planet.
Then find some other, more meaningful, way of spending the time. Reading, learning a language, practising yoga or tai chi, thinking kind thoughts about neighbours, relatives, and strangers?
Oh Chrismas .. the annual celebration of greed and general humbuggery (sorry if that’s a rude!)
It’s not that I don’t love the time I have with my family – I treasure every minute I have with them. And I love it when they all go home and I can sit back in silence knowing I don’t have to stuff another mince pie down my throat to keep someone else happy.
All of which makes me sound a real misery – but I don’t see it like that. I simply only join in with the bits of Christmas that I love, the grandchildren, the panto, the general silliness, and don’t join in with the bits I don’t. But I know I’m in the privileged position of being able to make that choice. It’s impossible for parents faced with endless pressure from children for whatever-keeps-up-with-the-other-kids, for anyone who feels they have to entertain great Uncle Scrooge when they silently wish he’d popped his clogs years ago, and most of all for those on their own who wish they had families to irritate them, or who are living on the streets with no passers by to even give them a cup of tea.
I totally agree that the commercialism that surrounds Christmas now and the fact that many shops start up with their Christmas campaigns before halloween is over don’t sit well with me. I also agree that, at least in our family, the focus is on the children and we try to take responsibility to make the season fun and avoid the less palatable aspects on offer (masses of sugar). One thing that I do like is the fact that we can make the fun last throughout December. I was always disappointed as an adult that so much effort went into the Christmas prep but it was all over in such a short time.
For us the fun really starts today as the elves arrive and the squeals of absolute delight from the Grandchildren has started everyones day with a massive smile. It allows us to exercise our creative juices and encourages them away from the TV or iPad e.g. the elves will naughtily tip out a box of crafts, prompting a good session of hands on building stuff “Blue Peter” style. The advent calendar has been “modified” such that they get to unwrap a short Christmas themed book every day, That and other encouragement has good them into books from an early age.
There is also another aspect around the shopping, in that folks who can’t afford to shop in one big blast can by a little each week in the run up to Christmas to help spread the impact of the season’s festivities.
Your point about lonely people is well made and we should do whatever we can about that within our own means, whilst respecting those that are very comfortable being alone & don’t want company pressed upon them.
As always we can only make the best of our own situation & try & switch out the rest. Have a magnificent Christmas.
Christmas not sure how other people find this time of year but it’s really about the children in all our lives .I find Christmas is advertised to early in the shops and on TV where did the magic go waking up to opening your stocking then everyone going down stairs and opening maybe one or two gifts and being surprised you may have got what you wonted also looking to see if Santa had eaten food left out for him .Now it’s all about how much you can buy .I am not saying it’s like it in every home but often it’s the box they end up playing with I love the lights and I enjoy family get togethers but it’s the lonely people I think of with no family it’s just another day to them so let’s check on a neighbour put a extra plate of food Up for them and be great full for what we all have at this magical time of the year I really hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Christmas