We stood up the tree on the weekend. We’ve started a tradition here since we first moved in together – as we start assembling and decorating the tree we put on some jazzy Christmas music, pour out a snifter of fine Rutherglen Muscat and have stop often to share a dance and a kiss.
Someone at work declared last week that they’ve become disenchanted with Christmas due to the overly commercial focus on the day and have decided, in response, that Christmas this year will mean little more to their household than a public holiday, which I found a bit of a shame.
I certainly agree with the first part of the statement. I shook my head when I saw fruit mince pies and kids toys adorning the crown end displays of the local supermarket back in August – I actually thought for a second that they may have discovered a pallet of old stock they were trying to sell – but then the cynic inside me kicked in, and I realised it has started. How is it that many people will wait until the first week of December to put up a tree, but the retail sector unashamedly start in August?
But I think you can still celebrate Christmas, without giving in to the motives of the marketing folk. We can shift the focus away from presents, and towards quality time spent with friends and family, sparing ourselves from stress and worry around meeting expectations. This year we’ll be making many of our gifts. It is a bit of work, but it is appreciated. On my side of the family we practice a secret santa exchange which is capped at fifty dollars and it allows you to focus on a meaningful gift for one person only. It can also be either second hand or hand made.
Start a new tradition – make Christmas about what you want it to be, in line with your values, and enjoy it.