Christmas is my favourite holiday but it is also one of the more emotionally awkward holidays. It makes you reflect on life and tugs at your heart strings. It places immense pressure on idealistic family time, gift giving and capitalist merriment.
Like weddings, Christmas has long turned into a money-making monster. The bigger, the better, the more lavish the gifts, the merrier or perhaps I should say temporary merriment. There is already immense pressure to consume and this ready-made recipe that is suggestive of what you should do to feel happy and ‘get into the spirit’ of things doesn’t make it any easier. Even those who know their efforts will only guarantee a fleeting five seconds of happiness, still somehow feel the need to join the charade.
This will be my first Christmas in my own home, one that I will always be eternally grateful for, but there is still a nudging feeling, that I need to consume to be happy. This season puts pressure on you to somehow feel incomplete without the perfect tree, the perfect décor and the best pepperpot. Just the thought makes me feel like I’m running a marathon I haven’t been trained for.
I have been thinking a lot about capitalism these days and the ways it is pushed on us in the different forms of media. Because of media, brands have become more comfortable producing upgrades and new collections. They try their best to capitalize on that brief moment of happiness that takes place. The rush and the momentum is all we ever speak about but no one ever reflects on the emptiness we feel if we are not genuinely happy.
But what is happiness anyway? Is it a purchasable thing or is it constant navigation of inner self- fulfillment? Many will argue it is the latter and some a mix of the two.
As we prepare to celebrate this overly capitalist Christian holiday let us try our best to reflect on our purchases and not overrun them with trending themes/gimmicks.
Christmas has become such a heavily marketed item that it starting to override tradition and the authentic happiness it brings.
Go local - This week I read out my Christmas menu, one that I have carefully managed to curate from Jaime Oliver’s website. My husband sweetly asked me if there was going to be any stuffed eggs. Really after Guinness Lamb Chops? Food is food and we should be thankful enough that we have it. Make your celebratory meals but don’t burden yourself to impress. Besides no one should be in the kitchen for extended periods on Christmas day. It may be the digital age but it somehow feels even more difficult to find the correct words to express your feelings. Contrary to popular belief handwritten cards carry more meaning than you could ever imagine. Maybe because the concept seems so vintage. Try to give the gift of words. They do more than you can imagine and are a must in my home.
In Europe Christmas markets are incredibly popular, I suppose you can call them the equivalent to a jam-packed Regent Street with vendors everywhere on Christmas Eve. Capitalism has taught us to be rabid consumers and it has also made us into greedy beings who price compare without considering that some businesses can only offer lower prices because they impinge on the values and rights of others. Buying from smaller shops and smaller vendors may be expensive but it is more organic. Think about it as doing two good deeds.
As we embark on the season, let us try not to lose ourselves for fleeting happiness. (instagram. com/ theonlinerunway)
Every fowl feed pon he own craw. Is Alexis making a wise decision? Can she deal with the consequences?
Simon gives Malachi an ultimatum about his relationship with Alexis.
Aunty Myrtle takes matters into her hands and takes action against Simon and Malachi. Denzil counsels his sister. Will they succeed?
Simon wants to be involved in Community development and suggests an area of interest to Sonny, the new Council Chairman. Will he accept this proposal?
Coretta tries to convince Myrtle to accept Simon’s offer of $5m. Will Myrtle change her mind? Why is Alexis squealing with joy while Catalina is in tears?
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Get all you need for your Christmas cooking at the Bourda Market. (Stabroek News file photo)