Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas? Bah humbug

Actually, we do do Christmas. We're off to buy a tree today, I think. Not an artificial one - the children wouldn't stand for it. And not even one in a pot, because we've tried repeatedly and they always die, no matter how much trouble we go to. I don't know though, I'm always tempted to try again one more time..

And we do gifts, just not expensive ones. And special food, just nothing over the top. Since I my mother and I parted company, we've been doing Christmas dinner our way, and this year that apparently means.. pizza! I don't even like pizza and so I don't think to serve it very often, but apparently the children do and that's what they want to eat.

We just don't spend excessively. We might skip on the crackers, for example, and we're certainly not tempted by big nights out at the theatre. We like to spend our time in more relaxed, more affordable ways!

All in all, our Christmases now fit quite easily into our budget, though it wasn't always the case in the dark distant past when I thought I had something to prove, or outdated traditions to maintain, or someone else's standards to keep up. Nobody really appreciated those efforts anyway.

If anyone asks me what I want for Christmas though, I might drop some hints for this book, which seems to sum up my attitude towards money and life. I'd like to read it though, just to check.


Blogger Allie said...

We do a real tree. It is my favourite bit of Christmas. It takes me back to the thrill of decorating the tree when I was little. Like you, we do the Christmas we can afford. We save a little every month in our local credit union and that basically pays for presents, tree and food. I know that I wouldn't enjoy a Christmas that I was going into debt for. It would ruin the enjoyment. I suspect this is what has always made me shy of loans. Lucky, really.

Pizza? Why not, indeed! I remember doing pasta one year when P was a baby. We couldn't be bothered with all the work of a more elaborate meal. These days, we do a more trad roast, albeit a veggie one. I think the key with this time of year is to do your best to just do whatever makes you happy. I really appreciate the break from work and routine and the chance to enjoy a change of pace and more family time. The danger, for me, lies in the 'run-up', which gets rather event heavy.

December 16, 2008 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger Riaz said...

Why do the British make a big celebration of Christmas? Millions of people in other countries celebrate Christmas but few nationalities elevate the event to the level the British do. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that Britain is one of a tiny handful of countries that doesn't have a national day celebrated in a similar manner to Independence Day in the US or Bastille Day in France. Germany has its Oktoberfest and many countries celebrate the anniversary of a prominent event that took place in the past. The constituent nations of Britain have their Saint's Days but hardly anybody makes a big celebration of them with the exception of St. Patrick's day. Adults go to work and children go to school (and learn about Africa or Bangladesh instead of British culture) on days we should be celebrating. Therefore the British appear to make up for the lack of a national celebration by making Christmas their big event. Let's investigate...

The Ghost of Christmas Past: Christmas was (and still officially is) a religious festival celebrating the birth of Christ. Britain is legally a Christian country which results in Christian celebrations approved by the Protestant Church of England becoming national celebrations. Until the mid 20th century most British people were active Christians who regularly attended church and read the Bible, so naturally considered Christmas to be a primarily religious event. There are still a small number of devout British Christians who steadfastly hold onto the concept of Christmas as a purely religious celebration without any of the consumerism, but the numbers are decreasing as Christianity in Britain continues its steady post-war decline. More recently, Britain has seen an upsurge in Yule celebrations to reflect the revival of Pagan religions.

The Ghost of Christmas Present: Since the mid 20th century Christmas has changed from being a religious celebration into a largely secular celebration of gluttony, binge drinking, partying, and rampant consumerism. This is how most British people celebrate Christmas today and they support the continuation of Christmas as an official holiday simply in order to have a good time. A small minority of people oppose this decadence either on religious grounds or because they have higher moral standards, but are seen by the majority of society as modern day Scrooges. Parents nowadays have to buy their children all the expensive presents they want, or else face prosecution for child abuse if their children do not find the game console they asked for underneath the tree on Christmas morning.

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come: In recent years the politically correct merchants of multiculturalism have launched some nasty attacks on Christmas ranging from renaming it Winterval, to town councils refusing to put up any decorations. Many schools no longer hold events such as Nativity plays or carol singing in December. The explanation behind these sinister moves is to avoid offending certain (ethnic) minorities - although they don't seem to be making a fuss anywhere near as big as that of certain white British 'small l' liberals. British people who are not Christian and dislike the decadence and consumerism of modern day Christmas might think bah humbug to it all because Christmas is just an ordinary day to them. However, a real danger has now emerged that failing to celebrate Christmas in one way or another is caving in to hostile political forces hell bent on banning everything culturally British.

December 16, 2008 at 2:42 PM  

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