With Christmas fast approaching I’ve considered the possibilities of going naked for Christmas- and no, sadly, I don’t mean taking all of my clothes off and sitting by the Christmas tree. As fun as that might be I think it might be disrespectful to the spirit of the festivities.
I’m talking stripping down the costs of Christmas and indulging in the holiday spirit without spending a penny. Over the years, perhaps even long before my time Christmas has become increasingly more and more consumerist. The Christmas presents, wrapping paper, cards, food… the list goes on. Although it is nice to spend that little bit extra to make Christmas extra special sometimes we can be a little frivolous around the holiday season. The tag line for Christmas shopping has always been guilt free shopping, I don’t always feel that though, when spending money I don’t necessarily have to spare on loved ones I still have a niggling feeling of guilt lodged in the back of my mind.
I adore Christmas, and I even love all those consumerist bits and bobs that go along with it, but I’m pretty sure I could strip it all away and still have an enjoyable Christmas. My parents came over to visit from Spain recently and as we sat around watching T.V we shook our heads in disbelief as we watched a middle aged couple complaining about the economic climate; complaining that this year they wouldn’t be celebrating Christmas at all due to money issues. They went on to show how upset the couple were about the whole thing, showing the empty wall where the Christmas décor would usually hang. I found the whole thing absurd.
I understand the financial difficulties we have in this country at the minute, I even suffer them myself, however I don’t think that is a reason to completely write off Christmas. The aforementioned couple had a large house with expensive looking furniture and trinkets: I couldn’t understand why they needed to not celebrate Christmas to get by. They could still hang their Christmas decorations; they wouldn’t even have to turn on the Christmas lights if they wanted to save on electricity. They could play a board game or watch some Christmas T.V. Spending under £5 they could each buy each other a bar of chocolate or similar, wrap it, put it under the Christmas tree and have a mince pie. It just takes a little imagination.
I think it’s shocking that Christmas has become so much about money that people in difficult money situations believe they can’t celebrate it. Are people forgetting the nativity story entirely? I’m pretty sure Mary and Joseph weren’t rolling around in fifty pound notes.
Splashing out is always nice during the festive season, as long as we remember it’s not a necessity. Often when we have less money we are a lot more thoughtful with our present buying since we can’t spend a fortune on extravagant gifts and wrapping. It’s something worth bearing in mind while you’re doing your last minute Christmas shop.