You may have noticed by my stocking filler posts that my Christmas gift ideas are not particularly festive but the reason for that is because I’m simply not that into Christmas. I hate the commercialism of Christmas and how it’s been hijacked by extreme consumerism and how everyone feels forced to buy, buy, buy. I think a lot of people feel the same, they just don’t say it or don’t feel like they can do anything about it so I’m airing my views in this Christmas rant.
My anti-Christmas mood starts bubbling as soon as the three-month build up begins and reaches a crescendo around Christmas eve when I’m utterly sick of painful songs in every shop and public space. Buying-on-demand is like forced fun and panic-buying pointless gifts that clog up our world is ugly, even though we all know that owning more things doesn’t make us happy.
Traditions can be endearing, if you like them (and a lot of people LOVE Christmas and that’s totally ok, as well as it being a cultural and religious event which I totally respect) but if you don’t like a tradition be free to break the norm; do something different, give something different, go somewhere different (if you want to) without fear of judgement.
It shouldn’t be a taboo to say you’re not into Christmas, and there’s no need for guilt trips from others. “You’re not getting a Christmas tree?!!!?!”, a friend shrieked at me last night. No, I’m not. It doesn’t make me weird, or a bad person; I’m just not that into it.
If you think a Christmas tree is tacky, why not celebrate by decorating your space with gorgeous winter blooms and berries instead? Don’t like the annual festive fuss? Go abroad and see what other cultures get up to or take a break away from it all. This year I’m going to the Middle East from mid-December and last year I went on a yoga retreat on Boxing Day until early Jan which gave me a welcome end of year recharge.
Please don’t get me wrong, I’m no heartless Scrooge for not liking Christmas but I just hate having to conform and do things in a certain kind of way, at a certain time of year, especially when I have no religious or cultural attachments to the occasion. It can also be a sad time of year for so many who can’t celebrate with loved ones, family or enjoy it in the same way as others do.
I’ve still decided to do a Stocking Filler posts to offer alternative gift ideas for those celebrating; they are all great gifts in their own right and would make a fabulously ethical present any time of year, not just for show and not just for Christmas. Great if you’re stuck for ideas and fancy some alternative giving…
Plus, my favourite Guardian columnist, Suzanne Moore has just written “My Tips for Surviving Christmas” which I absolutely loved as it sang a similar tune. Do check it out!