I do not like Christmas, okay there you have it I said it. There are many reasons I do not like Christmas. The busyness, the “fake” cheer and happiness, the materialism that takes over in unchecked proportions, the pressure, to buy, eat and be merry makes me want to run the other way (the question is what the other way would be and what would I find there).
As a child one of my best memories was laying on the couch watching Christmas movies with my dad and brother (my mum often had to work a shift as she was a nurse). It was simple and very enjoyable.
Another distinct Christmas memory was when I had migrated and we were visiting this thankful family member that was just horrible and mean on Boxing Day (just because she could). I walked away from the scene and that particular person onto the streets of Newtown (an eclectic suburb in Sydney) a couple of café’s were open I ventured out bought a coffee and consolidated myself in my diary. Not only did I walk away from an awfully behaving person, I stood up for myself and admitted as a migrant I really did not like Christmas all that much and that was okay.
From the get go Christmas has been kept simple, a nice tree, a few presents (more on that later). One of the nicest Christmas things we do however is getting our photos with Santa. This is actually more fun as the years go on as we can reflect on how much the kids have grown and we have changed. Another thing I loved to do was create Santa footsteps on the way to the Christmas tree (with talcum powder). I try not to show the children that I do not like Christmas and try not to fall into the Bah humbug too much. I do this by focusing on the little joys.
As a professional organiser and an aspiring minimalist I have struggled with presents for years. I don’t want to give nothing as I feel that is a bit harsh for kids. We however keep it very much in check regarding the volumes and the types of presents that we buy.
This year I am doing two things to move my "I do not like Christmas" attitude to "I can deal with Christmas" just fine.
I actually declutter the kids toys with them prior to Christmas.
Now full confession this is partly when they are not watching – as they haven’t even opened the ice cream shaped lipstick from last year. Partly with their input so they learn to value and appreciate their toys and learn to let go when they have outgrown or not used an item.
I did buy presents this year two of them are obvious “plastic crap” but I know they will really like it and will start playing with their nerve guns a few minutes after they open it. (It is like the plastic rubbishy bow and arrow which my son has used for hours in the first two weeks of getting it for his birthday).
Clutter for one can be valuable and fun for others and if we can recognize this than the few gifts we give are bearable and even fun to give as they make others happy.
The days before Christmas you tend to not find me on my normal spots, I try and leave my home town to a place near or far where people don’t know me. Where I can sleep-in stay anonymous in a hotel, sip my coffee and eat avocado on toast while I read something and relax - away from the crowds.
I do not like Christmas but there are many ways to celebrate or navigate these days. I hope you can create your traditions, your way of navigating this period through the presents, food, expenses etc.
Decluttering and Organising can also in this time of year keep you company no matter how you decide to celebrate.