’twas the night before Christmas…

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24/12/2010 by Sarah Ritchie

Are you doing OK? Feeling stressed? Are you feeling the pressure of Christmas shopping, food preparation, family headaches or travel arrangements?

This year I seemed to have escaped all that by having a tonsilectomy the week prior to Christmas. I thought I was being cunning with time management, but some unforeseen complications have meant that the recovery is taking longer than planned and I have had to stay at home the whole week.

On the positive side, the tyranny of Christmas commercialism seems to have passed me by this year. No stores playing an endless round of the same (otherwise lovely) carols. No throngs of shoppers fighting for breathing space. No worries about where to source the perfect gift (I have left that to Simon). It’s been quite relaxing actually, in spite of the pain.

What this removal from society highlights, to me, is how much commercialism and social/traditional expectations have stolen the beauty of what Christmas is all about. Ask your average child and they probably could tell you more about Santa’s reindeer than the birth of Jesus Christ. I guess a Middle Eastern miracle doesn’t hold quite as much “glamour” as tinsel and candy.

Christmas has become a time that children love (feeding the “what’s in it for me” side of human nature) and adults loathe (Christmas Day being one of the most stressful times of the year). What is that all about? When did it go so wrong?

Still, we all have choices. We are not forced at knifepoint to obey the rules of society and play the game. We can say “no”…”stop”…”let’s do things a little differently”. Something to think about anyway while you are out getting that last minute Christmas gift…

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