Thursday, 8 November 2012

# 118 If you're already excited by Christmas, do not read further

Blah blah blah
Nothing annoys me more at this time of year than Christmas advertising. Yes, I am going to be the Grinch for a bit. But this happens EVERY year and I reserve the right to be a bit annoyed until December arrives.

Not only have we had to put up with it since around the end of August when the first of the Christmas puds started sneaking their way on to supermarket shelves, but TV's thinly veiled no-pressure-there-then, subtle-as-a-house-brick attempts to get you to part with cash you really don't have is horribly transparent. It's pressure we all really don't need right now, so why do we feel so compelled to fall for the hype?

What happened to the days when Christmas was about being with the people you loved? A good dinner, some shoddy TV viewing and watching the Queens Speech? Not that I ever experienced any of those growing up since kids want want want. Now it's all about quantity not quality. And I abhor that it's about money, going to festive work do's with people you otherwise wouldn't give the time of day for outside the office, secret santa's containing something you really didn't want and starting the sales early.

Even when I had enough money to fulfill the over ample Christmas lists I'd been given, I still left it as late as possible to face the reality that was CHRISTMAS. Now that money is tight (you wouldn't know we were in recession to look at the high street) I have dug my heels in even further. Cards are limited to direct family only. Presents are reserved only for my nearest and dearest. I do not give begrudgingly but I do expect wishlists of things actually wanted or needed rather than for-the-sake-of-it stocking fillers.

Most of the people I buy for want for nothing so this rule is hard to follow. In that case, something that is of actual use or provides an experience they wouldn't otherwise have had (we went through a phase of experience days in my family) is just fine. It's a memory. But it is carefully considered.

For the small people in my line of fire - well I guess I just have to suck it up. Kids after all are hard to impress with feelings of togetherness when there's free stuff to be had.

I also find choosing between where I want to go for Christmas and where I am expected to be, tricky. Last year was the first in a very long time I knew instantly where I was going. This year, I want to be in one place but am expected to be in another. I always feel bound by a certain duty and I know it will be visited back on me many times over if I don't comply. And I KNOW I am not alone so don't tut at me and call me a party pooper. 

Is this your family at Christmas? DON'T LIE TO ME!!!!
Around the beginning of December I start to soften. It's okay that it's nearly Christmas. But don't mention it before then. You won't be met with a happy disposition!

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