It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

This is the theme running through my head right now, as I make lists, tick lists, write more lists, tick more, find a list written two weeks ago with something on it that I haven’t ticked yet, remember three more things I need to buy.

I love giving presents to people I care about. They are a token of love and appreciation. We take people for granted far too much in the daily run of things, so it’s nice to give something that will bring a smile or a smidge of delight.

At this stage of Advent though, I begin to wonder whether we are barking up the right Christmas tree. With a couple of exceptions I’m giving to people who already have a lot of stuff. Yes my gift will be new but it won’t be a necessity.

The Dean of Gloucester was on the radio the other day being quite political, quite obviously put out that the Government is failing in its duty to the poor and needy. He said that in this day and age, it should not be necessary to have a food collection point in the Cathedral. But he urged people to donate to provide for those who have almost nothing this Christmas.

So while I’m melting the bank card with one hand, I’m going to give some food to the collection. I have bought cards in aid of a local hospice which I know does excellent work. I am giving a load of unwanted stuff to the hospice to sell which will help someone, somewhere but I am still caught right in the centre of a maelstrom of Christmas commercialism.

We have our first grand-child visiting this Christmas so it will be brilliant. A lot of people are asking me “Have you bought her Monty, the John Lewis penguin?”

Well actually no, I haven’t. Because she doesn’t understand or know about Monty and probably never will and because even I am not falling prey to the cuteness of a monstrously over-priced toy penguin.

I can be a bit of a rebel at Christmas. One year, we had cheese and grapes instead of a turkey for Christmas lunch.   It was great but lacked… er… hot turkey and to be honest, Emmenthal is no substitute for pigs in blankets.

Don’t tell the family, but next year I’m going to propose that we all swap presents bought from charity shops.

Jigsaw anyone?

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About janh1

Part-time hedonist.
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9 Responses to It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

  1. I’m terribly bah humbug about Christmas, and I dislike the commercialism, so your charity shop suggestion sounds like it could be fun 😀

    • janh1 says:

      I think so! 🙂 A challenge! I got all Christmassy today and demob feverish as it was my last day at work before the big day. Bought Hotel Chocolat treats and snacks for the workers and a few more presents so perhaps I should complain about commercialism. Those mojito chocs were amazing!!

  2. Isobel says:

    I love jigsaws! Can I go on your list? My dad and I used to get stuck into a big jigsaw every Christmas. Our criteria was that it had to be a good picture; art gallery jigsaws were our favourites.
    Some friends and I have a charity gift shop agreement, though I messed up last year. I exchange fewer and fewer gifts each year and as a consequence I find I am enjoying Christmas pre far more.
    Most of us need less ‘stuff’, not more.
    If I get home early enough from Christmas drinks with neighbours later, I shall follow this post up with one of my own.

    • janh1 says:

      Haha – hit the spot there, Isobel? It’s many many years since I attempted a jigsaw but there’s a certain satisfaction. A pal of mine claimed he could do jigsaws without looking at the picture! I tested him by sending him one (charity shop) without the picture – and he DID. Huh!

      Great idea to whittle down the gifts. I’m sure my pals would agree. Next year!! 🙂

      • Isobel says:

        When I was still in single figures, my mum took me to see Father Christmas in Harvey’s of Guildford. It’s the only time I can remember being taking to see him, so she must have been feeling extravagant. My gi was a jigsaw, and the picture on the box did not match the puzzle. It became a Christmas favourite. Maybe we were just odd…

      • janh1 says:

        Not another one who doesn’t need the picture… sheesh! Maybe, Isobel… just maybe… :-)))

  3. Darrel Kirby says:

    We found that buying presents for people was getting harder and harder. Stressful for us (our more accurately my wife who tends to take the brunt of Xmas shopping chores) and good money was being spent on stuff that the recipients, though grateful, neither needed not wanted. Neither of us really have that skill that seems innate in some people, of always finding the perfect gift. We now have no present Christmas pacts with everyone, which is much less stressful.
    Agree it would be nice to do something to spread the cheer for those less well off, so like your idea. We always donate to the food bank collections at the supermarket, but somehow it doesn’t seem enough.
    Kudos for not succumbing to the John Lewis marketing hype.

    • janh1 says:

      Hmm but I have succumbed to J Lewis’ myriad other attractions…but hey, nobody’s perfect! 🙂 Glad to hear agreement here. Makes me feel I’m not such a lone voice!

      Without giving away details, the saddest thing at work today was a patient who, six months ago had a good job and a marriage. He’s since lost his job, separated from wife and is living in a flat with £2.50 in his pocket. We gave him food vouchers to get him over Christmas but hell, it’s still going to be awful for him.

  4. Pingback: Doing Christmas | IsobelandCat's Blog

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