Thursday 8 December 2011

Christmas. An Argument For it.

From reading many blog posts recently I come to the conclusion that Christmas in blogland is like Marmite, you either love it or or you hate it.

I gamely throw my Santa hat into the ring and declare I fall firmly into the ‘LOVE IT’ camp.

I get childishly excited by it all, and as a collector of snowmen it’s the perfect excuse to fill my house with their wintery wonderfulness. (ornaments rather than real snow obviously!)

I do understand the complaints about how commercial it has all become, I’d be the first to agree how sad this is, but I truly believe Christmas, like life, is what you make it.

This is easy for me to say I know, I don’t have children demanding the latest £300 must have item. (Even if I did I can assure you they would not be getting it! )

 I ADORE buying people presents. I think this stems partly from the fact I love shopping full stop. It doesn’t have to be just for me! I get even more of a buzz buying something I know someone else will be thrilled with. I make a point of listening to people and filing away likes, dislikes and yearnings. I also shop throughout the year, I learnt the hard way that if you see the perfect thing at the perfect price you must snap it up straight away or you’ll regret it.You leave it for a later day and suddenly it’s sold out and you are frantically hunting for a Plan B.
I have a shelf in my wardrobe for storing these items and I also have a list in my diary so I know what I already have and don’t double buy for people. Sad maybe, but it doesn’t half take a lot of the strain out of Christmas shopping.
If I don’t know what to get someone I ask them. I would much rather get something they really want, even if it is something practical or boring (in my eyes) than buy some random thing that will go : straight back to the shop/in a charity bag/passed on to someone else*
*delete as applicable.

Again I cannot but help agreeing about not understanding or buying into the food madness that seems to possess some people. I feel like going up to those stressed couples you see tearing wildly round the grocery store with 2 full to bursting shopping trolleys and bellowing ‘DON'T PANIC! Tesco is only shut for 2 DAYS!'.
I food shop on a Saturday, a week at a time. Other than the occasional pint of milk of loaf of bread I don’t buy again until the next Saturday.
I don’t shop any different for Christmas! Why on earth would you buy something you don’t even like just because of the time of year? I buy what we need for the week ahead, including for entertaining and that is all. Yes there may well be a few seasonal treats in there but that is because we both freaking love mince pies and this is the only time of year you get them!

I love sending Christmas cards and I love receiving them. I love catching up with friends and family who yes I really should make the effort to see more than once a year ‘because it’s Christmas’ but it’s as good a reason as any and it’s fantastic to catch up.
On the other hand I don’t feel obliged to go to the dreadful work Christmas parties. I have also got to a stage in my life where I don’t feel I must go to something when I can’t stand the person/persons involved.*
 *see previous post on friendship.

This way I feel I truly do get the best out of the festivities.

I may love shopping but I’m not madly materialistic. (Actually for those who have lost the meaning of Christmas in all the materialism I recommend reading Dickens - A Christmas Carol which put simply is about changing for the better, for life, and not just for Christmas.)

My favourite Christmas delights involve simple things like sitting downstairs first thing in the morning with a cup of tea and just the coloured tree lights for illumination, or throwing open the bedroom window on Christmas morning and breathing in the delicious fresh icy air, whilst listening to the church bells ringing in the day.
Going to a carol concert, singing very badly and not caring one bit, putting food out for the birds on a frosty morning and watching the colourful visitors it brings.There are so many joyful little things.

Admittedly I also love nothing better than quaffing numerous alcoholic beverages or watching Singing in the Rain for the millionth time whilst eating malteseers until my eyes bulge.
Lets face it Christmas is a damn fine excuse to roll out the cocktail shaker or to drink things I don’t at any other time of the year, just because! Advocaat anyone? hell yeah.

So yes at this time of year you will find me with a spring in my step and joy in my heart, festooning the house and decking my halls. I will watch all my favourite Christmas films culminating with the George C Scott version of A Christmas Carol.

                         To be watched on Christmas Eve with bottles of fizz as is our family tradition.

I accept there are those of you who may think like Scrooge, say ‘Christmas is a Humbug’ and can't wait for it to be over.

but I prefer to be his Nephew Fred, with a little bit of Tiny Tim thrown in.

So I say ‘Hurrah for Christmas’ and ‘God bless us everyone!’


  1. I say Hurrah for crimbo too! Im like you in that i have a list in my diary of who to buy for and i stock pile during the year when i see bargains or bits i know people will like - by the time it gets to xmas i normally have loads of each person (always look like the OTT gift giver!) Scarlett x

  2. You & me both :) I love Christmas but I hate the materialistic/overconsumption part of it. Give me homemade gifts, carols, friends and some scrummy food and I'll be happy.

    Obviously this year I've had loads of extra sitting down time to make pressies/write cards etc but other years I don't do the panic either - tis just one day with a slight posh sunday roast thrown in ;)

  3. Hooray for Christmas! I love it too. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and happy with the world. Our Christmas must-watches are Muppets Christmas Carol and the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy (extended editions). The latter just seems to have developed, it's not especially Christmassy.

  4. You speak a lot of sense Miss M! Agree with a lot of points you have said, ssp the food one!!! I shop on a friday, go once a week - very rarely have to top up or buy anything else. I also dont buy much extra at Xmas. Why gorge yourself? Its madness! Esp as most people are trying to lose weight/be healthy these days. I also keep a pressie list in my diary, and start my shopping in late September. I love Christmas too, I just wish that it wouldn't start in August as it spoils it a bit!

  5. You've won yourself a copy of Vintage Life, Miss Magpie:

  6. Well said. If you enjoy it and it doesn't make you go bankrupt then fill your boots! x

  7. I agree, I've been writing my version of this post too - I think it's cool to be grumpy about Christmas these days, which is sad. I'm not sure it's any more materialistic than it used to be, it's just that when we were kids we didn't have to worry about the financial side of things, our parents did!