Christmas… Hmmm…

This week’s Weekly Word Prompt: Christmas asks if we prefer to take a traditionalist or a modernistic view of the holiday season. Hmmm… The assumptive close inherent in the question seems to offer that these are the only two available options, and both options also seem to assume that the trappings of Christmas – or the ‘holiday season’ as it’s now known – are inevitable, that this is an enjoyable and inclusive time of year for everyone…

Well, not for me, because I’m just not a Christmassy person at all – at least not Christmas as it stands today. But to be clear I’m not completely a bah-humbug kind of person either – I’m more of a not-too-hot, not-too-cold, lukewarm ‘undecided voter’ about it all. Right now heading towards the end of November I can pretty much take it or leave it, and feel cloaked in a miasma of insipid ‘meh’ instead of sparkling in the glitter-strewn excitement I see shining in so many other people around me.

I’m really not at all a fan of the Western capitalist push to rampant consumerism around Christmas that starts immediately after Halloween. Christmas – ostensibly a Chrisitan festival – no longer seems to be anything to do with religion or religious belief, it’s become instead a manic whirlwind of spending excess money while encouraging little more than a culture of personal greed and profligate waste. It’s no longer about the joy of giving, or community spirit, or helping those in need – it’s no longer simply the thought that counts.

Somewhere along the line quality of sentitment has been trampled underfoot in the triumphant quest for quantity of stuff – how much to spend on each present, how many presents for each person, how many people to buy for, money money money, more more more… Personally I find this socially accepted me-me-me attitude upsetting in the extreme. ‘What are you getting for Christmas?’ is always what’s asked of people, no-one ever asks ‘What are you giving for Christmas?’

The thing is, in my mind Christmas celebrations can still be pleasurable without relying on extreme financial excess – get together with people you choose to spend time with, or take time out on your own if you’d rather. Decorate your home if you choose to, or don’t if it doesn’t suit. Eat nice food by all means, enjoy a special meal designed to your own taste. Give token gifts if you want, and receive them gratefully. Take pleasure in the simpler things in life, live mindfully in the moment.

And above all, try to remember the real value of Christmas rather than constantly counting the cost…

7 thoughts on “Christmas… Hmmm…

  1. Christmas is so much more than the commercial onslaught going on all around us. It’s really getting out of control, and we are more committed to ignoring the sales push than ever. Christmas only asked for one day in celebration. I’m good with that.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. i don’t celebrate….I have multiple reasons none of which are even mildly important enough to share. I do though, send a holiday message to people I care about but haven’t communicated with in a while..and I like fixing a special meal for the hubby. We have lights on the house, but we are also one of “those people” who leave them up all year. In our defense, we are both too old to get on the blasted roof and I turn them on all year anyway. The gift giving is ludicrous. The eat a turkey and have cranberry sauce should be done whenever one wants to eat turkey IMO….let’s say say I’d rather gift people, or fix special meals for them, or write cards to them all year long.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m absolutely with you, Ruth. I can also take it or leave it and the emphasis on getting stuff is quite sickening. The grandchildrens’ hyped up expectations bear no resemblance to my memories of Christmas when I was a child. Parents need to to teach their children that it’s better to give than to receive.

    Liked by 2 people

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