It's beginning to look a lot less like Christmas....
As we head rather rapidly to the end of 2018 with Christmas just 10 days, yes 10 days away, you're either past caring or caught between a sea of cellophane, wrapping and ribbon wondering where most you'd like to shove the scissors.
Earlier this week, I jumped on my best friend’s offer of dinner and got all the feels of the season with homes dressed in lights, sat enjoying a glass of wine in her beautiful festive lounge with presents neatly wrapped under the tree.
That was it, she said – it is all done, before laughing at having just been talking at work that day about her friend (me) who would still be wrapping Christmas Eve night to morning.
Ha – not this year and not because cosy December evenings have been devoted to sticky tape and skewering ribbons with a hot chocolate.
This year, there simply isn’t ‘the stuff’ to wrap.
There’s a number of factors for the 2018 shift to a more minimalist Christmas and it’s not all thanks to Martin Lewis.
Firstly, a couple of milestone birthdays in the run-up to December 25, meant family celebrations were opted for over lavish Christmas buys.
In the summer, the youngest of my siblings, my brother, said goodbye to Lancashire upping sticks to Australia for a couple of years via Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.
The wait goes on for last year’s birthday gift so collectively we called it quits and instead he gifts lots of drunken Facetime calling at all hours instead.
But the biggest home hitter was the kids at four and five not really knowing what to write on their Christmas lists. Two children who fawn over every kids’ advert with that infamous ‘I want that.’
Christmas growing up was privileged but never extravagant and the feeling had been the family tradition had carried on in our house in the same vein but this year particularly the accumulation of stuff has become more apparent.
Our ‘home’ is practically a storage warehouse.
No wonder the children are overwhelmed.
I’ve spent a lot of time looking at things why do I own it? Why I keep it? Why I’m storing it?
With that in mind it was a conscious decision to stop buying so much, to stop accumulating and let go.
It’s a work in progress, it’s so easy to blow a budget purely in the name of Christmas spirit but the transition not as hard as first thought – it’s been refreshing to know friends and family wanted in on the act too.
It was William Penn who said: “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”
Instead of lauding myself round shops in manic mode trying to tick off that Christmas gift list, the agreement has been to get better at making time to sync those diaries come 2019.
Time is definitely the best, most precious gift you have to offer and there are certainly lots of people who deserve a bit more of mine. Not least my kids.
So I made them re-write the lists, to include things they really wanted to do or places to go.
Mini me’s number one ‘a midnight feast.’
Christmas 2018 is going to be one to celebrate not one to buy.