I feel like taking the plug off the TV and hibernating – it’s only November but already the ‘Christmas’ channels are up and running on the TV and have been for a couple of weeks now. We have already had the ‘Coca Cola’ advert, weeks before it’s due. Toys and CDs galore are on every ad break… Has the country gone mad??
I’m not being at all Scroogle-like, I just think that the pressure to consume is hitting us way to hard and way, way too early this year. Everyone has less money to spend so I realise that retailers are trying to get your money before you spend it elsewhere, but I ask you – who has the money anyway? Surely I am not the only person who feels like this? I am avoiding the town because at every breath there are more posters and banners leering at me, wanting me to spend, spend, spend.
I’m also aghast at the number of households already sporting a generous cladding of festive lighting – their fuel bills are going to be amazing enough if we get the cold weather we have been promised, without them lighting up the neighbourhood for two months too!
Now, I’m not religious so the festival holds no religious meaning for me. What it does mean is a time when most of my family are not at work; it’s a time when we can indulge in one another’s company. We can give one another small gifts to show our love and our appreciation for that person (note I said small). It’s a time for feasting, but not so much that we can’t afford to eat for the rest of the year. Most of all, it’s a time for rest and recharging our batteries as a family. Its a few days off work, hunker down under a blanket and do not very much at all.
This year is going to feel very strange for me. Of our seven children, only four will be at home on Christmas Day for the first time ever. Our family is growing up. No.1 Son will be at work – he works in a call centre and will be there to assist those motorists foolhardy enough to go out in their cars and break down on Christmas day. I don’t blame him, like the rest of the population; the money will come in handy for him. No.1 Daughter now has a little family of her own, and although I will be sad not to have her at our table this year, I am full of pride that she has her wonderful partner and their little man to cook her first Christmas dinner for this year. Number 3 no longer lives at home and will, I expect be with friends for the holidays. Our table will be less crowded this year, and although I am a little sad, I am also strangely looking forward to some relaxing time with our younger kids and Dear Hubby.
I hope that each and every one of you has a wondrous festival holiday, filled with love, respect and relaxation. I do hope though, that those who are unable to consume at the levels the ad men would like us to, will feel comfortable in not indulging the excesses that others are.
I’m off now to carry on knitting gifts for our nearest and dearest. I have been beavering away all year making wines to gift too, so if you receive a long narrow package from us… guess what – have a MERRY holiday!