#131 (2013) Thank F*** That’s Over With
Christmas is over for another year.
And I’m quite relieved.
Despite a more restrained event it’s been the usual emotional rollercoaster of expectedness versus my inate desire not to pander to others wants for no other reason than that John Lewis demands it of you.
I kept the financial outlay to a minimum but as families don’t really understand the concept of not giving excessively (because there are no rules in place) not asking for gifts simply results in a lot of unnecessary expenditure on the part of the giver and guilt on the part of the reciever.
Mostly it came in the form of food parcels. We may not have a lot of money but we’re not starving. The resulting gifted food made for some awkwardly embarassing acceptance. I think we probably did better than some benefit families using food banks this year. And it made me feel bad. But I was in no position this year to pre-empt it with equally unnecessary gift giving.
It’s hard to explain to people who are used to frittering their earnings on unnecessary luxuries and name brands that you don’t want for anything and that not spending is a choice you made simply because you didn’t feel the need to buy stuff just because you could.
Gift giving should not be how we demonstrate our love for friends or family. It’s the commercialisation of Christmas by big corporate firms and retailers hell bent on taking our cash for profit that puts us in the awkward position of feeling like Scrooge in our own versions of A Christmas Carol if we don’t buy.
Getting out of that vicious cycle is liberating and a relief and I just wish I could make people understand how much better it is than getting the two new scarves I didn’t need but will be added to the 15 in the cupboard. Thanks Santa.
Have you got an amnesty on the mutual swapping of gifts at Christmas. Perhaps like me you read Martin’s Money Tips thoughts on the subject. And if you did, did it spoil Christmas or get you back to the heart of what the festivities are really about?