Christmas has been consumed!
Consumerism has sucked the life out of Christmas. Everywhere you look… they use our desire to give, to increase profits.
And sadly, it works – very effectively.
We buy so many things we don’t need at the best of times but this time of year it is explodes! - Christmas Chaos. Using money we don’t have, we fill our bags and trolleys with things that are devoid of meaning… sometimes, even for people we do not like.
I haven’t felt the Christmas spirit much in the last 20 years. The joy I recall as a child, has faded to a ghost of a memory. We moved to Australia 25 years ago, yesterday, and since then it has never felt right. Christmas for me needs to be cold and, if you are lucky, white with snow and filled with family. There was just the four of us here, no other family around. No cold, no snow, just oppressive Queensland heat and humidity. But it wasn’t just the climate, I don’t blame Australia (I love seeing the sun nearly everyday and the ‘no worries’ attitude of the people here).
It may have been the massive change in my life – being on the other side of the world.
Maybe due to my age as well – Santa and his special magic had been exposed and with it a part of my childhood, corrupted by this well-meaning lie.
We stopped celebrating Christmas with presents, because it got too hard. Dad never wanted anything and the rest of us impulse purchased for the other 11 months, so there was never much left wanted at Christmas.
And if you didn’t want it… it wasn’t worth having.
In the last few years, Christmas has changed again… I have children now and I want them to create memories that they will remember. I want to see their little faces filled with excitement as they rip through the wrapping into the unknown. I want fun and laughter to fill our home. I want them to enjoy the magic of Santa Claus.
This desire has lead me to missing the point again…
I have bought them things… too many things.
It hit me like a tidal wave – raging, overwhelming, foamy questions, pulling the sand beneath my feet, and knocking me over…
I can’t buy value to put in their lives.
And I certainly won’t find it at the shopping mall.
I have to teach it.
I have to show it.
I have to build it.
Most importantly, I need to learn it again (or is it actually for the first time?), myself.
Christmas has consumed me…. it has chewed me up… and yet it is still ten days away…
The beauty of this realisation is that - I still have time to give my family the Christmas I would like them to remember, but it won’t be found or bought at the shops.
Photo credit - Spot the difference - Laura Arrowsmith-Hudson 2014