Christmas is an odd time of year. You cannot ignore it. It is there at every turn. But for some Christmas isn’t an endless frivolity of mince pies, prosecco, tinsel and wrapping paper. For some, Christmas exacts emotional, physical and financial stress. And some, are simply anti-Christmas.
Here I am. Stood posing against a brick wall in my Christmas party outfit. I’ve made it to one event this year. I’ve cancelled another. It remains to be seen if I survive through the rest, or run to my hidey hole where I feel so much happier. I’m not really anti-Christmas as such. I’m just not feeling it this year.
I am not always such a Scrooge. Christmas is normally my season. I go all out. I play Bublé on repeat from 1st December and wear a Christmas jumper every day of the work week. My earrings get switched for snowflakes and I eat my own body weight in mince pie tasting competitions. After all – we all need to know which high street mince pie tastes the best.
And my blog! Normally my blog is filled with Christmas content; positively brimming with gift guides and party wear. Neither options have remotely inspired me this year and so I simply haven’t written them. After all, why put out Christmas content, when you’re feeling a little anti-Christmas?
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I am a little stressed at the moment. I won’t go into the reasons why as I’m very much a talk about the problems once I’ve solved them person. But I’m anxious, tired, not sleeping well and not exercising as much as I’d like. All of this together means I’m just not feeling the festive spirit.
I’m also fining Christmas frivolous to the extreme. It seems to have become less about spending quality time together and more about excess. Endless gifts that no-one really wants and glittery cards that end up in the recycle bin. Christmas parties with people you don’t know or like that much. Too much alcohol resulting in hangovers that ruin your day plans. I simply don’t want that any more. I want something more relaxing and more fulfilling.
This year, family and friends have agreed to forego our regular gifting. Every year we spend excessive amounts on items that we really don’t need. Do we really need another expensive face cream when we have 3 half-used ones in the bathroom cabinet already? How essential are another pair of novelty socks that can be worn only on Tuesdays? A nail varnish in a bauble? How twee.
Instead, this year, we are making sure we spend quality time together. We’re going to a spa day or out for a meal. My husband and I are buying National Trust membership as promise of quality time spent with each other. And for all those other presents I normally buy? I’m donating to charity instead. Friends and family have either nominated a charity for me to donate to or given me permission to nominate a charity of my own.
I’ve done this with Christmas cards for some time now. The money that I would normally spend on cards and postage has been donated to a different charity each year. Last year we supported a local homeless shelter. This year, I will be donating to Bloody Good Period who work to end period poverty here in the UK. I live a life of privilege. I don’t need Christmas presents but there are others out there that do and I’d rather know that I’ve done one tiny bit of good with my privilege, than get yet another batch of cosmetics that I won’t use.