So the Christmas shopping madness has begun! A quick shopping trip for a baby shower present for a lovely friend of mine started with me looking on in disbelief whilst people literally lost their minds in the shopping centre car park! Once inside it was busy, people looked fraught and I could not buy the present quick enough so I could JUST. GET. OUT!
I posted a daft Facebook status about the whole event with the hashtags #becoolpeople and #theseasonofgoodwillandallthat. Yes, they were throw away comments made in light of the ridiculousness of the situation. BUT, it got me thinking. I actually love Christmas but what I do not love is the huge traffic jams around the shopping centres, the manic buying of overpriced tat, and the fact that seemingly normal people lose their cool.
So, ladies and gentlemen, this year I propose a Christmas Manifesto:
This year I will not give into the crazed commercialism and the inevitability of a very unhealthy bank balance come January.
This year will be different.
This will be the year that I re-discover the true spirit of Christmas. After all it is the season of good will.
I will not visit the shops this Black Friday Weekend.
Since when did the sales start in November anyway?! I'm all for saving a few quid, but after reports of people clobbering each other over a television in Asda last year, I will be shopping online only. From the comfort of my sofa and well away from the crazy people.
I will not decorate the house like Santa's Grotto before December 1st.
That does not mean that I will not go OTT with the fairy lights and baubles, because lets be honest I'm worse than a kid at Christmas, but despite my enthusiasm for the festive season (I LOVE it!) I will refrain from putting the Christmas tree mid-November, because, well, that's just plain daft.
I will give to those who need it more.
Despite what my boys will tell you, they do not NEED any more toys. Our house looks like bloody Toys 'R' Us. Yes Santa will still visit, but I won't go over board with the spending just for the sake of it. Instead I will save some of that cash to buy a present or two for a child who truly does need it. Just as last year we filled a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child, this year too we will wrap up a gift for someone less fortunate. This year we will give to Mission Christmas, to benefit a child local to us in Manchester.
I will embrace the true spirit of Christmas.
Yes that sounds cheesy I know, but instead of shopping like it's going out of fashion this year I will dedicate more time instead to the true festive activities. I will cook up pots of Christmas Chutney, to gift to friends and neighbours. I will help the kiddos bake gorgeous, gingery biscuits whilst whipping up a snow storm of icing sugar in the kitchen. I will dry orange slices for my home made wreath whilst listening to Christmas carols and drinking mulled wine. I will cuddle up with my boys on the sofa and make sure we get through all the classic Christmas films in December, whilst drinking steaming mugs of hot chocolate and eating marshmallows in the shape of snowmen (yes thank you Sainsburys, you see I haven't disregarded the Christmas commercialism entirely). I know all of this sounds terribly cliche, but it's what it's all about, spending precious time with loved ones.
I will remember it is the Season of Goodwill.
I hope others will too.
That means no fighting over car parking spaces, or the last plastic reindeer on the shelf.
Be cool people.
Wishing you and your loved ones an enjoyable, peaceful run up to Christmas.