There has been much debate online lately, regarding whether its acceptable to pull out the Christmas gear before November 11th. This includes decoration, advertisements and items for purchase in shops and stores.
I grew up in a traditional home, where we decorated the Christmas tree the night before Christmas. It made Christmas Eve all that more special. Even though we had gone through the Christmas concerts in school and we’d been out on our school holidays for days, there was something special about gathering as a family to trim the tree the very night that Santa was going to arrive. There wasn’t any Christmas Eve presents, it was just 100% pure anticipation and excitement for the next day. We kept our tree up until the 12 days of Christmas was over and then down came all the decorations. It was done for another year.
There was no worries about Christmas interfering with Remembrance Day (November 11th), these celebrations/observations were so far apart that nobody ever imagined there would ever be a cross over between the two. Nobody anticipated how commercialism would take over the world either, I suppose.
The modern way to do it, it to put up your tree in November, so when December the 26th comes along, you’re sick and tired of the decorations. Everything comes down and is boxed up, ready for the basement, by the time most of the menfolk are settling in for their turkey coma nap. Have you heard the song The Twelve days of Christmas, folks? That’s how long its supposed to last.
Nowadays, as soon as the Halloween decorations are down, it seems the stores are full of Christmas stuff. And that’s all it is…stuff. Somewhere along the lines we seem to have forgotten that its not about shopping and gifts. Its a religious holiday where family and close friends get together to celebrate and enjoy each others company. Long gone are the days of getting an apple and an orange in your stocking. These days, there are so many gifts and purchases, its a wonder more people don’t crack up under the pressure of “I have to get….”
I’ll never forget the incredulous look on my husbands face when I replied to his question ‘What do you want for Christmas?’ He was absolutely dumbfounded when I told him I wanted nothing. At first he laughed out loud and then he looked at me again and realized I wasn’t joking.
“I cant do that,” he says “It’s not right!!”
I went on to explain that I had all I wanted, and IF there was anything I or we wanted in the run of the year, sure we only went out and bought it for ourselves, didn’t we?? He reluctantly agreed, but had to come back several times for re-affirmation as the big day approached. Finally I looked at him and said,
“Do you really want to spend the next week or so worrying about what to get me? Do you want to be out trolling the stores trying to find something that you’re not sure I’ll even like?? Honestly, if you want to give me a Christmas present, just hold my hand on Christmas Day. Spend quality time with me and our families and don’t worry about buying me things. It’s not about things to me. It’s about family.”
Now, I know this is not the norm and it may not be for you. But I ask you, do you really need to rack your brain trying to find that present for (insert friends name) and spend XX amount of dollars on something YOU like but they don’t. Only to have (insert same name) spend XX amount of dollars on something THEY like and you only pretend to like?? Or is it better for you both to relax and enjoy each other in the true spirit of what the Holiday is suppose to be about.
Long story short, let the vets have their day. Honestly, they fought for our freedom and they deserve it. There is still lots of time to celebrate Christmas…really. Let the gift giving be about the kids, the way its supposed to be. They brought gifts to Baby Jesus remember?? Not to Joseph and Mary, or the Wise men, the Shepherds and the cattle. Just Baby Jesus.
Since that first Christmas when I had to convince Hubby, we’ve had a grand Christmas every year, and without one single gift between us. We surround ourselves and our home with Family, Friends and Love. How lucky are we.
That’s it for this time, if you have any questions, or comments, I’d love to hear them. If you’re really enjoying the BPA blogging adventures and don’t want to miss out, click ‘follow me’ and your name/email will be added to our growing list of blog subscribers. We’ll email you when a new blog post happens, then you can read them all at your own leisure…..and remember, I’m no expert, I’m just a painter gal with some thoughts to share.
What things do you and your family do, to make Christmas special?