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Over the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about writing a few posts of last minute Christmas present ideas but it just wasn’t happening, no matter how many times I sat down in front of the computer with the lists I’ve complied of things I’d love to give and receive.
Christmas just hasn’t felt like Christmas to me this year and I’ve heard a lot of people say they feel the same.
Firstly for me, this year has come and gone in a blink of an eye. Secondly I think it’s because we live in such a fast paced world where we can easily afford to buy anything we desire which makes gift giving extremely difficult. Without giving the “back in my day” speech, I remember a time when you would wait until Christmas or birthdays to receive luxurious goods but in the last few years that novelty has vanished. I’m also guilty of this, if I want something throughout the year I’ll buy it for myself which leaves me not having anything to write on my Christmas list because I have already treated myself to exactly what I want.
Now, this isn’t actually a bad thing. If you think about it we have really become materialistic beings and consumerism has kind of taken over our lives. I know I sound like scrooge right now but I’m really not, I’m just being realistic. Both of my parents have requested for us kids not to buy them presents and not the old “oh you don’t have to buy me anything” speech but secretly they want gifts waiting for them underneath the Christmas tree, I could tell and feel that they really meant it, the same goes for my brother, partner and friends.
I love Christmas, birthdays and gift giving in general but there comes a time in life when making memories through spending time with each other and being kind to one another means way more than unwrapping another pair of socks that you don’t need or a frying pan that you actually don’t have room for in the kitchen cupboards.
I still cherish memories of when either my parents or one of my aunties and uncles would hold the annual family Christmas party. It was all about the food, hearing the parents laughing at the top of their lungs, being forced to dance in front of everyone, us cousins causing havoc with each other and showing off that one special present we received. When you’re a child in that present moment you don’t realise how precious those occasions are, but if I could go back and collect those simple times up I would in a heartbeat!
So what has been my solution this year?
Like most years I made care packages to handout to people that are less fortunate, who are sleeping rough and actually need toiletries and food. I’ve also bought the children in my family presents because it really is all about the kids at this time of the year, to see their reactions and excitement of what Santa Claus has bought them. And my present to everyone else is just to be kind, helpful and to love and laugh with them. It’s like the Shakin Stevens song goes “Snow is fallin’, All around me Children playin’, Having fun, It’s the season Of love and understanding, Merry Christmas everyone” (I know he goes on to say “time for presents” but let’s pretend he doesn’t) but it really is a time for having fun and understanding.
For me personally this year, it’s all about being mindful and GIVING isn’t about material goods it’s about giving my time to my loved ones. To sit and have conversations, to play board games, to help with the cooking and maybe just maybe the tidying up!
Who knows maybe next year I’ll be back to being that frantic woman running around the shops on Christmas Eve buying last minute presents and tut (rubbish) but I hope not as I’ve really enjoyed this chilled out run up to the festive season of not worrying if spending X amount of money on a certain gift is acceptable or if so and so will be happy with their gift and not wanting them to be jealous of what I’ve bought someone else. I won’t be missing the drama!
It’s a bit late to purchase gifts now as it is the eve before the big day but if you still have gifts to buy for people you are seeing during the holidays check out my his and hers ideas from last year.
I really do hope you have a very merry Christmas with your loved ones, put your misunderstandings to one side and make some jolly good memories that will stay with you forever!