I’ve finished work.
It’s not because of work that I didn’t feel Christmassy before, although having some time to wrap the gifts I’ve bought for the children has helped.
While I was working I did manage to unearth our bargain bought-in-February white feather tree and get the children to decorate it.
I designed a Christmas e-mail in lieu of cards and sent it out to those on a list. I know you can’t hang up e-mails, but I think of all those trees and the massive amount of re-cycling that may or may not get done!
I made a donation to Lend With Care instead and enjoyed reading about what they will do with our donation.
The difference is I’m not going into the city centre anymore. My office is based right in the shopping district and for the past four weeks (maybe longer) it’s been a nightmare.
The traffic has been horrendous. Drivers are increasingly frustrated and less giving as they fight their way to the car parks and even the very full park and ride. Car horns and rude gestures. Parking in the city centre has been nigh-on impossible.
And so many people out shopping. And I have to say it makes me feel really nauseous. All this shopping. All this consumerist waste. All these people buying stuff – when money is tight for the 99%. Do the recipients want what they’ve been bought or will it end up in next year’s school fayre? Or a New Year car boot sale? Capitalism gone wild. Today a study was published showing the rise of problematic hoarding among people in western societies. The need to keep all this stuff. Signs of a society with really twisted values.
I feel like Scrooge. I don’t want this. I don’t want Christmas cards going on sale in July. Or even September. I don’t want plastic brick-building toys going up in price by 25% just on the run up to Christmas (a particular disappointment for my son!). I don’t want shops selling tat disguised as decorations to be discarded in the New Year. I am Scrooge.
But what I do want, is to remember that we are celebrating the birth of a spiritual figure who has an immense impact on the world (even if he wasn’t actually born in December). I want to be there for the lighting of some Hannukah candles. To celebrate with pagan friends the winter solstice. To remember that this is a spiritual time, a family time.
And as I remember this, I finally feel Christmassy!