Several years ago now, due to a serious lack of money round about the festive season, I decided I was no longer going to dole out Christmas gifts. Little did I know this announcement would make some of my friends and family view me as a scrooge.
I forgot that people are not privy to my inner thoughts and didn't understand my internal processes.
So I think it's time I set the record straight.
Christmas, for me, has always been a truly joyous time of year. My childhood was full to the brim with wonderful Christmas experiences. My favourite thing of all was the never ending visiting of friends and family we got to do. And believe you me, there were lots of those. My parents had an extensive social circle and more cousins than you could shake a stick at. I've never really known what that expression means but I'm using it anyway.
You see, it was never about the presents.
Birthdays, in my view, are when the presents count the most. This is why I agonise for hours about my birthday present list. I start compiling it in October/November. When I've perfected it then I post it on facebook, email it to friends and even do blog posts about it. Yes you lucky readers – this honed list of wonder will be coming your way just before February.
So... when I made my momentous 'NO PRESENTS' decision that long ago December
I was considering several things.
Here is an attempt to list, in some kind of order, (not easy considering the befuddlement my brain can be) my thought processes at the time:
- I am extremely cash strapped.
- I don't have the usual resources to do the home made present deal. (You see, after I left teaching I decided to quit my hoarding of old bits of cardboard, sticky back plastic and glitter for those unexpected Blue Peter type projects).
- I will have to go out and buy the raw ingredients or start collecting scraps as I used to in the old days. The buying means spending money I don't have. The collecting of scraps is a gradual not instantaneous thing.
- But I do have time to spend with friends and family.
- But that's good because spending time with people creates memories
- Which are the best kind of present I can think of. I love great memories, especially captured on film.
This was a win win situation.
I set about implementing my new Christmas regime...
For Episode 2 of the Rae - Scrooge debate, tune in to next month's blog.