As Christmas fast approaches, seemingly quicker each year, it won’t be surprising to you that I’ve been anticipating the cost of the season of goodwill. Why is it as parents we feel we almost have to throw money at our kids for them to enjoy it? It doesn’t help that we are bombarded with images of the perfect Christmas coming at us from a multitude of adverts every day. Each advertisement seems to portray a happy family, children rosy-cheeked with sumptuous food on the menu and the latest toys and gadgets under the resplendent Christmas tree.
But what of those people who will have nothing this year? As the Band Aid single asked “Do they know it’s Christmas at all?”. We buy into, literally sometimes, what the media tells us is important. And forget the true meaning of Christmas. As a Christian I believe Jesus is the reason for the season and my family and I will be celebrating his birth. But even if you don’t believe the wonderful Christmas story isn’t Christmas about sharing and helping our fellow man?
I was feeling guilty that my husband is out of work so therefore Christmas will be a smaller occasion this year money wise but when I think of those children who will have nothing at all and will be scavenging rubbish tips for food and things to sell it brings our own Christmas celebration into sharp relief. It is just one day. A special day yes but it feels wrong for a percentage of the world to have so much more than the rest of it. Who is to say we should have and they shouldnt?
One Christmas I worked on a supermarket checkout over the festive season and could not believe my eyes at the cost going through the tills. Some families had 2 trolleys full, were spending hundreds of pounds and then came in to repeat the scenario for New years ,. This is not a lecture. I know people work very hard for their money and they are entitled to time off to enjoy it. But if we don’t start thinking about people in poverty who will?
When our children are older they wont remember the expense of their christmas day gifts, they wont appreciate us getting ourselves into debt to pay for it. They will remember the precious family time spent together.
Really this is a lecture to myself to keep myself in check. I could quite easily go overboard financially out of guilt this Christmas but it wont help me in the long run when I’m struggling to pay for it after.
So eat, drink and be merry by all means but take a moment to raise a glass to those who are unable to and maybe see what you can do in a practical way to help the have-nots. it is often said there is just one step needed for us all to be there. It could easily be us and not them. Pay it forward, surprise yourself by doing a random act of kindness and then keep it to yourself.
And lastly thank you for listening to my rant again
Till next time