Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A new sort of Christmas

We’re only 5 nights out from Christmas, so a post surrounding this is inevitable. I’ll be honest - I was a little sad coming into this festive season because I knew it wasn’t going to be the same as it used to be.

With us two ‘kids’ being in our twenties, we’re a little less fussy about the celebrations in our household. I promise we aren’t grinches, but I will admit we haven’t put up the tree and don’t intend to either. GASP, HORROR! 

Consequently, it also means we’ll be a little devoid of presents, which let’s be honest, is actually a relief when you can finally stop the last-minute panic of racking your brains trying to find a gift for everyone, only to end up with a whole batch of “meh’s” come present-opening time, and a pile of returns. 

Christmas for me used to represent the most exciting time of year. Like all other school children in Australia, it was the longest period of holidays and meant absolutely no school work. The smell of tinsel in the supermarkets put a spring in my step, as did the prospect of receiving a batch of cheap candy canes from all my friends.

At home, I usually did the tree-decorating myself (it was my pride and joy… and at that stage, I used to have to stand on a chair to put the angel-with-a-bite-mark-in-its-head on top) and I was genuinely proud of the gifts I managed to buy with $20 from the Reject Shop. If you need any consolation, my dad still has the statue of the man standing at a petrol pump, my mum still has the mini piano that plays Fur Elise and my brother still has the ugly little statue of a gremlin… yeahhh, don't ask me why.

Presents in our house always came on Christmas Eve, whether that was after I went to sleep and “Santa’s bells on the roof” woke me up or when I was a bit older, and we’d returned after an early dinner of fish and chips at Balmoral Beach. I’d then sit up until the early hours of the morning playing one of my new Playstation games (these included Crash Bandicoot, Mary-Kate and Ashley “Crush Course” and Harry Potter), before Christmas day was spent enjoying mum’s delicious feast and lounging in our plastic pool.

For those who don’t have younger siblings, I think it’s time for us to finally accept that while Christmas has changed, it’s not all bad news. For kids, Christmas excitement often equals getting a present that you couldn’t afford with your pocket money during the year. For the rest of us, until that time comes again when there are new little kids in the picture, we need to broaden the definition of Christmas.

Christmas might not be the same as it was 10 years ago, but being 10 years on, we’re mature enough to realise that living under a roof, having food every day and having an education is a lot more than a lot of kids will ever receive.

I don’t intend for this to come off as a preachy, all-knowing “true spirit of Christmas” cheesy post, but we often get caught up in our own little world without thinking about people outside our bubble  - along with the department store advertisements on TV and endless blog posts detailing “wishlists” that involve pretty bras… I mean really?!

I know I’m not exempt from indulging in buying commercial stuff that none of us really need, but I’m hoping to make it a bit different this year, and make Christmas all the more special for different reasons. 

What does Christmas mean for you? How will you be spending the festive season this year?

Note: I do indeed realise that Christmas is a religious holiday, and so that of course is the real meaning of Christmas. But I do also acknowledge that for a lot of us (myself included) who don't follow religion or aren't Christians, Christmas does take on an entirely different meaning. This is what this post centres on.

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