Seasonal stress removes Christmas sparkle
FIGURES released this week estimated that most Irish households will spend at least € 600 at Christmas.
I hate to say it but I think that an awful lot of families will spend considerably more, and that’s not even for an all-singing, all-dancing affair.
Depending on the size of the family Christmas dinner alone is a costly exercise, nevermind all the presents, cards, tree, decorations, Santa visits and possible travel expenses.
Christmas gets bigger and bigger every year and there is no sign of the hype abating.
I love Christmas and this time of year but there’s no denying that if we allow it, the season can create a terrible amount of stress. The minute Hallowe’en is over and sometimes even sooner the Christmas frenzy begins.
I loathe how crowded shops and towns get with everyone rushing around, pushing and shoving in the hope of crossing another item off their ever-growing list.
Every year I get a longing to stroll down Grafton Street under the twinkling lights with Christmas music playing to soak up the festive spirit.
This image is always swiftly erased by the crowds, impatience and discomfort that seems to emerge and worsens with every passing December day.
It turns from a dream to a nightmare or epic proportions and more often than not the car parking, or lack of it swiftly takes the shine off the seasonal goodwill far too early for my liking.
I don’t think this figure of €600 would go anywhere near covering the cost it takes to stage the big, beautiful Christmas that we all strive to achieve and that is because, cliche as it sounds no money in the world will do this.
Of course, Christmas dinner is something that most of us can look forward to and exchanging gifts with our loved ones but the most important thing is that we are there together to do so.
During the hustle and bustle it is easy to get wrapped up in lists and the countless things to do than relishing the opportunity to take time out and actually share the season, which is a religious one, with our nearest and dearest. After all, the whole thing is pointless if by the time December 25 comes around we are too tired, stressed and broke to enjoy it.
Christmas dinner is one of the main expenses over the festive season.