It’s a bit of a cliche — but where did the year go? People seem to be obsessed with “getting ready for Christmas” and wherever you go, whoever you talk to the subject seems to come up.
It’s the silly season and people do stupid things or at least that’s what it seems like.
We have all year to be ready for it, yet every year most people appear surprised that it’s that time again.
There is talk on the news about how many millions or billions will be spent on Christmas presents across the nation. We are being urged not to overspend and run our credit cards up too high that it becomes a struggle to pay off over the next year.
Then you meet the really organised person who smugly states that they’ve done their shopping over the year and they are all ready. The cake and pudding are made weeks ahead, their menu is organised, presents wrapped, timetable filled in — they probably even know what colour undies they are going to wear on Christmas Day!
Discussions about what colour scheme or theme to have, or should you choose a real tree or fake and so forth. The merits of hot food versus cold, pre-prepared or cooked on the day etc etc.
Me — well I’m definitely not organised. I haven’t even discussed with my family what is going to happen and where or when. I guess we will get around to it sometime this week. But to me it’s not a big deal anymore. I’ve done the organising and catering for twenty-five or so people, ending up absolutely exhausted on the day — not to mention the end of the day. Now we’ve had some of the oldies pass away, couples separating, family members moving away or removing themselves from the family orbit and so on.
Last year we had a pre-Christmas dinner with close family and on the day I packed a gourmet picnic then Ross and I drove to the beach and had a lovely relaxed lunch. The weather was perfect and it was no big deal, yet it was really lovely. Special even.
I’d like to do it again — although the weather forecast is not so good, it will still be fun. Plus it’s not so easy to overindulge when you have to carry all your food with you.
Then talking about Christmas has me thinking about how fortunate I am to be able to consider which options to choose when there are so many close by us who do not have that choice. I am privileged to have friends and family to celebrate Christmas with, to have the ability to buy presents for them and prepare food from an array of ingredients. To make the day different from every other day.
Still, when it all boils down to reality — none of this is as important as being around family. For me, that is what makes a Christmas — not the presents, the food or the decorations.
It’s the people who count.