Grinchy people

I used to be one of those people. You know the ones. Maybe you are one of them, too.

You see the Christmas decorations appearing on department store shelves at the start of October and get all cranky about it. It’s MONTHS away! What are they playing at?

Scrolling your Facebook feed and seeing friends putting up their trees on the first of November? RIDICULOUS!

Christmas trees up in public places before it’s even December? It’s a flippin’ OUTRAGE!

“It’s too early for Christmas stuff!”

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Seeing Christmas stuff for sale a couple of months before the day bothers a lot of people. It’s spreading rampant consumerism. Retailers are squeezing cash out of us at every turn. Were bon-bons always this expensive? Capitalism, greed, competitiveness, pressure!

In previous years, that’s how I’ve felt. I’ve gotten ranty about how much we spend for just one bloody day. I have gone down the path of mostly handmade gifts (lovely, but holy shit, THE EFFORT!) and tried to limit the spending. I’ve stood in the middle of the shopping centre wondering why the hell I am parting with a small fortune to celebrate a Christian holiday steeped in Pagan tradition when I am an atheist, raising kids without religious affiliation.

2017: It’s been heavy

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I am sitting here trying to type a list of everything that has been heavy this year. Terrorist attacks, the hideous national debate on same-sex marriage, our abandonment of refugees on Manus Island, to name a few. And the growing wave of allegations of sexual assault as so many survivors find the courage to come forward. It’s impossible to list everything without missing something, but I’m sure you know what I’m getting at. I think many of us are feeling world-weary and just tired. Tired of the bad news, the sad news, the outrageous and horrendous news. None of this goes away because it’s Christmas time, of course.

Time for an UnGrinching

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All these shitty things that have happened won’t change because it’s the holiday season. No amount of tinsel will stem the flow of people in need. There aren’t enough baubles in the world to end racism, sexism or homophobia. You cannot fix everything with fairy lights. Even Christmas is bound to attract controversy, with the usual annual claims that the Muslims are stealing it or that retailers are trying to erase the Christian aspects.

But I had a little lightbulb moment this year. In retrospect, it was bleedingly obvious.

A Christmas Epiphany

My epiphany? Maybe I should stop my grinching and just let people enjoy things. Perhaps it is capitalism and greed and rampant consumerism. Or maybe people are just feeling the tension and stress of a difficult year and are finding a little bit of relief and light in early festivities. Maybe they’re enjoying planning a day of delicious food and catching up with loved ones.

So, friends, it’s not quite December and I’m loving seeing pictures of your Christmas trees. Bonus points if there are happy faces and/or pets included. Cover your house in fairy lights, start meal planning and buy or make as many gifts as you want to. Buy glitter for your beards and brace yourself for shopping centre car parks.

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I will not offer an ounce of criticism- not even in my own head. I’m never not going to be creeped out by your Elf on a Shelf pics, but have at it, anyway. Blast your Mariah Carey Christmas album if you want to- I won’t say a word! These are my issues- not yours!

Get into the spirit

Do something nice for yourself.

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Even better, do something nice for someone else, if you can. I’ve got my Share the Dignity #ItsInTheBag contribution ready, just for starters.

It’s been one of those years. A lot of negativity. Let’s give ourselves a break and get our baubles out- who cares if it’s a bit early?

 

 

IBOT @ Capturing Life.

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  • Love it Amy!!! I do share the Dignity every year… good on you. #teamIBOT

  • LydiaCLee

    Taking my bag to the delivery point on Friday – yay!

  • I’m a non-practising Jew who loves the crap out of Christmas. The trees, the lights, the food, the carols, I love it all. I’ve never celebrated a Jewish holiday at home, but have celebrated Christmas for as long as I can remember. Admittedly, I’m trying to be a little more minimalist and a little less consumery about gift giving and consuming the festive season this year, but that doesn’t extend to the Christmas tree (or Christmas baking.) Dropped my #itsinthebag off at the weekend and instead of sending Christmas cards, we’re making a donation to charity instead. Happy Holibobs!

  • As you know, I love this time of year because of my faith. I totally get the criticism about going over the top with consumerism. But I had an epiphany of sorts one day too and it was because I read an article about the toys that had been removed from a war torn country in the middle east. They were celebrating because the toy stores had started to stock dolls again. This made me so happy and sad at the same time. The cost of war on people and the children where they couldn’t even play with a doll! I thought of my own girls and how they loved their stuffed animals and dolls. It was in that moment I thought, what if we didn’t have Christmas? What if we didn’t celebrate Birthdays? I much prefer to celebrate, than to be grinchlike. For me, it’s an important aspect of my faith as well. I do hope you and your family have a lovely Christmas Amy. xx

  • I’m one of those people that absolutely loves Christmas! I love the lights, I love the decorations and most of all I love the excuse to get together with friends and family and enjoy a meal together talking over recent events in our lives and our hopes for the upcoming year. Unfortunately I just need to get through a job interview (damn work restructuring and downsizing at this time of year!) and my daughter’s surgery before I can get into full on Christmas mode in mid December this year.

    Ingrid
    http://www.fabulousandfunlife.blogspot.com.au

  • Christmas is the one time of year that joy is more abundant that at other times, for us it’s the time we pause to be grateful for one another and the opportunity to share our favourite traditions. We have stopped making gifts the priority instead focusing on the celebration of family and love. I adore this time of year. x

  • Normally I’m all for “if you like it/it brings you joy, go for it” (even if I roll my eyes at the same time) but Christmas does tend to shit me a bit because I feel like people want me to be excited with them. Soz, totally not. Never been an exciting holiday for me. Sure, eating prawns and sitting in air con Christmas day is fine with me, but it’s just the same as every other family party frankly.

    Or I could just be bummed as my in laws claim I can’t mock someone who’s coming to Christmas this year. AND THEY ARE SO MOCKABLE.

    14 straight days off work though – that CANNOT come soon enough.

  • I loooooove Christmas and the joy it brings families. I am all for some fun and cheer after what’s felt like a tough year too.

  • I am Jewish and married to a Christian/Anglican so this season is doubly pricy and full of “things to do”, but I enjoy it as we don’t go overboard and have no family here. So it becomes a season of connecting as a family of 4 while hubby is on holiday and celebrating with our closest friends. I do hate that the sales and decor start so early- I mean who is buying their chocolate gift boxes in October/November in Queensland lol. They would melt! I think a month of revelry is perfect for me. Glad to see you have ungrinched and can see the positive sides. And yay for its in the bag. Just finishing mine today!!

  • I do and I am! I got a bit sad the last 2 Christmases because “all of my traditions” were lost once we moved up to the coast. However, this year, I ungrinched myself (did not even know it was a word) by putting up the Christmas tree on the last weekend in November, adding the baubles that I made before we left Sydney with a photo of each grandchild in it, put some lights up outside (and inside) and I began playing Christmas songs in the car. I am back and I am loving it. We wont see anyone on Christmas Day but that’s OK too. On Sunday night my DD face timed me so she and the gkids could share with me ‘the turning on of their lights and decorations …some of which used to adorn our house in Sydney. It is lovely to see traditions passed on. Yay…..and so this is Christmas…oh yes, and my ringtone is from Glee “We Need a Little Christmas” D xx

  • I’m Christian so the religious meaning behind Christmas is very important to me. But I also love the more secular stuff – Christmas trees, fairy lights and spending time with family. It can be a bit cheesy and over the top sometimes, but everyone celebrates the holidays in their own way!

  • I’m looking forward to just spending time with my family on Christmas. I’m not fussed about all the presents & food, just getting to catch up with people and seeing the girls have fun with their Aunties & Uncles is what it’s all about for me.