Time to Give Christmas Some Thought?
Packed High Street
Christmas Gets Earlier Each Year
Shops and supermarkets are churning out the Christmas commercial message earlier and earlier each year.
When I was a kid here in Yorkshire shops did not have Christmas cards, gifts, and more on sale until after the U.K. annual Guy Fawkes Day which is November 5th.
In 2018, however, Christmas paraphernalia has been on display since early September.
With competition for sales online stores are trying to keep up or ideally be one step ahead of the competition but do customers really appreciate having Christmas thrust at them in late Summer?
Keeping It Special
Early promotion of each up and coming Christmas has its uses but it is not entirely positive.
- How do parents cope with children whipped up into a Christmas frenzy months ahead of the big day?
- How do staff of stores cope with Christmas jingles played on a loop day in and day out?
There is something to be said for keeping Christmas special.
Thinking back to that childhood here in Yorkshire many things were seasonal and therefore more special.
Strawberries were only available during summer months, mince pies during the actual Christmas period and sprouts rarely eaten other than at Christmas. There were many other season specific foods which meant they were a special treat. Perhaps this does not apply to sprouts which most kids hate.
Christmas shopping was hectic but it was more of an event. Christmas goods went on sale a month or so ahead of Christmas time and shoppers would hit the High Street intent on bagging the best deal.
Many things have changed how we shop for Christmas including women joining the workforce, families generally having more disposable income and the creation and growth of the Internet.
But for all the labor saving devices available in 2018 people are in a constant rush with little spare time.
Sadly that means Christmas has lost its uniqueness and for many people it is a season of chores.
You Do Not Have To Run With The Crowd
If you are not careful Christmas hype will get under your skin. You may buy more Christmas fayre than you need or even want and expensive gifts which you cannot really afford.
The meaning of Christmas is many things to many people in 2018.
If for you it is nothing but a time to receive gifts, and gifts that must be exactly what you want, and a time to overindulge that is up to you. Christmas may end up just one big expensive chore but that’s up to you.
However even in the 21st Century citizens in the western world can opt for their own Christmas.
- Foster a dog or cat for Christmas. This enables rescue centre workers to get some free time to enjoy the so-called season of goodwill.
- Set time aside to visit an elderly person who will be alone at Christmas.
- Give generously to charities. If you have a low income give your time instead. Charities often need a helping hand especially during Christmas time.
- Drop by local hospitals and or care homes with some home-baking for staff, patients and residents to enjoy.
- Let friends and family know that you will not be sending Christmas cards this year but rather will be donating to charity. This can be a win-win as it will save you time yet benefit the charity of your choice.
- Make gifts and tree decorations.
- Give homemade sweets and treats as gifts.
- Plan a shopping trip for gifts and one for food and drink. Take along a list to ensure you get what you want and do not overspend.
- If you prefer shop online, still aiming to get what you want in one virtual trip.
- Unless you are wealthy set a budget and stick to it.
You can of course utilise the full force of the Internet and technology using services such as Alexa for your shopping lists.
However a more traditional Christmas has a lot to offer.
This year make a concerted effort to stay within budget.
I can never understand why people spend weeks or months shopping and then on Boxing Day hit the shops again for “The Sales.”
That means all that planning and preparation has been pretty much for just one day of each year.
Then there is the pressure to spend and rack up more debt.
Who wants to be paying for last year’s Christmas as next year’s Christmas is approaching?
If you have a low income it is all too easy to feel depressed and sad at Christmas time.
Being there for your friends and family is a great gift which will mainly only cost you some of your time.
Be a Christmas rebel and do your own thing. I can almost guarantee it will be more enjoyable.
The Spirit Of Christmas?
© 2018 Ethel Smith