Pressure of Christmas
Sorry. This is a column about Christmas.
I know, I know, but I justify this pre-Yuletide intrusion in your wellbeing because I had my third Christmas-related thought this year.
You see my eldest has reached the age where she needs a desk for her bedroom. The topic came up this week and it prompted Scrooge McDad to wonder idly if he could make that a Christmas present.
Isn’t disguising a necessary purchase as a Christmas present the kind of thing we money writers are supposed to suggest to people in a bid to keep the costs of Christmas affordable and avoid a Christmas credit card hangover?
A bit of a boring gift though, a desk. So I found myself thinking that there had better be another gift, something a bit more fun, and as mum likes to choose something a bit special too that would make three biggish gifts.
But then, I think, her three cousins send gifts. Grandma in England sends one too. So does Grannie in Rangiora. So does Grandpa. Of course they do. It’s an expression of love. And, usually I try to discourage this as I feel it is unnecessary, gifts also come to her from friends.
Oh and then there’s Father Christmas’ stocking. He still delivers because we put out magic reindeer food.
I think you’ll agree this avalanche of gifts is getting ridiculous. How did it come to this? I blame the Ghost of Christmas Past and it’ll become the ghost of my daughter’s Christmas Future if I allow the above to happen year after year.
You see Christmases were a big deal in my childhood. There were loads of presents. True, there were no injections of toys outside of birthday and Christmas, but my past has left me, and my sisters and family, repeating the pattern of when we were kids and Christmas was just the best day of the year.
I have inherited many good habits from my parents, including a work ethic and a thirst for knowledge but I think when it comes to Christmas the behaviour I inherited is less satisfactory. Add to that the rise in gift-giving between families and I have the horrible suspicion my daughter will end up with a Christmas pattern that’s even more stuff-oriented than mine has been. So where to from here? I reckon I have a few weeks to plan a better Christmas than last year and one that is less sickeningly present-laden and more, well Christmassy.
It’ll be a time of wrestling with conflicting forces. On one side there will be the desire to see little glowing faces opening presents and to some extent the unavoidable pressure every parent feels to deliver a special day.
On the other side is the sure knowledge that if we just carry on as we are, an inheritance of excess will be passed on. I’d welcome your suggestions on doing Christmas the right way to rob. email@example.com. nz.