I love Christmas time, I think that most people who choose to embrace this seasonal holiday perceive it as a wonderful time filled with cheerful sharing souls, and yet as the festive season approaches tis just my thinking but I wonder if we have not fallen from the grace of those hopes defined best perhaps by the old style religious Christmas into the craziness of retail Christmas in recent years.
I watch (and to some degree engage) in the online and retail frenzy of food and gift buying gluttony that appears to be afflicting the world around me, and I question how we have slipped from a religious fervour in years gone by to the current ‘must have’ seasonal chaos
I am given to thinking that though commentators suggest we are deep in the mire of an economic depression, nonetheless the frenzy of Christmas which was until Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’ I guess reserved for zealous worship and of course goodwill to our neighbours and those less fortunate, to a rather more unpalatable version of the seasonal holiday.
My thoughts are that as a society we have become zealots to materialism. Parents buying ever more; and ever more managed gift lists for their children. Adults exchanging ‘don’t want, must have’ trinkets, children taught to demand everything and anything whilst they have their parents fleeting attention. Wall to wall media, social and peer pressure to conform with an addiction that will likely leave a majority both economically and spiritually poorer year on year for the experience.
This year I saw the first Christmas decorations some time before Halloween, the first TV advertisements a couple of weeks prior to that.
I sympathise with the retail sector, tis I think a tough time out there
I sympathise with the parents, I am one, and the peer pressure is immense on the children and the parents and carers of those children too
I sympathise with the children, who it seems to me are being taught from birth both the belief that ‘having more’ somehow improves your wellbeing; of and of course the more subtle rejoinder that having more means, having more than the next person
Most of all I sympathise with those among us who recognise that perhaps this is not an ideal way to evolve in a civilised world, indeed I think it may be in fact quite toxic to the human herd, and yet don’t know quite what to do about it
My thoughts.........and they are of course only my thoughts (which I hope prompt thinking, debate and much disagreement cos that is how I grow)
•If people want to buy you presents.....ask em to buy you just one
•If you are buying presents try and buy just one
•Don’t ask people what they want, buy something you would like to give to them
•If you are adults try not buying presents for one another. Perhaps you might share your time instead, in most cases I for one would prefer a cup of coffee or a meal out
•If you have a skill, perhaps share that instead. I like poetry and I think that perhaps next year I might write a poem and send that instead to people in my life
•If you send Christmas cards because you want to send good wishes, why not write a letter instead? Not a text nor an e-mail, try a letter, I know of very few souls who would not be pleased to receive a letter in the post, tis far more personal
•Talk to your children, instead of all that time online or at the shop sit and think for an hour or two and figure out how you might like to share with them the wisdom that the have’s giving each other more stuff to have, and the have nots forcing themselves into endless debt to try and keep up, well in the long term it does not seem so festive, well at least to the writer....
I am not a religious person, and I have little doubt that the zealots of bygone days created a fiction which was no more valid than many perpetrated in Christendom today. But I think we can each only begin with ourselves, our own unique and individual view of reality. For me I think fair warning and notice that I wish to grow to a new standpoint seems proper; and so for this year as the big day hurtles towards us I will continue with the pattern of years past, but I will stop and think.
Henceforth I will seek change. I am going to try and do my own little bit to stop the toxic effluent surrounding retail fever, and perhaps I can once again see the simple joy that I believe the festive holiday is meant to be about. Sharing who I am, giving what I have, from within as opposed to from without
Best wishes, and remember tis just my thinking