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Christmas can be simpler and better

here’s some simple suggestions to make this holiday a tad more palatable for all of us.

Let’s give thanks and be inclusive

Give something you actually care about – yourself [your time]

Father-Christmas-consumerLet’s bar the humbug this Christmas, the Age, December 15, 2012 Wendy Squires ”…. – most Australians who tick the census box as being ”Christian” are not using December 25 to instill the teachings of Christ, morals, empathy or ethics. I am not alone in the struggle to see the joy and rationale my Christian friends assure me exist beyond the mindless cacophony of commercial crapola, feigned frivolity and glutinous gorging that unfailingly shocks me each December.

……And I don’t buy the ”it’s all about the little children” bull either. If the emotional foundations of future generations lie in
obscene piles of useless tat ultimately destined for landfills, delivered by a fat man driving a reindeer-led sleigh from the North Pole, well, the best I can say is that creationism won’t seem that far-fetched in comparison. (My late mother’s take on Santa – ”I worked long hours in a windowless office to buy you that doll. Some old dude that doesn’t even exist sure isn’t going to get the credit.” Respect!)

So, on behalf of those of us who endure this holiday not so much as a re-enforcement of faith but a loss of it, I say let’s rethink this palaver. I may not believe in God but I do believe there is a good message that could be retrieved from this modern-day mess. So, without
hopefully being too Martha Stewart, Hallmark mawkish or even The
Simpsons’ Ned Flanders about it, here’s some simple suggestions to make this holiday a tad more palatable for all of us.

Let’s give thanks and be inclusive. When I was living in the US, I
grew to love the Thanksgiving holiday. Not as just as another excuse
to kill turkeys and gorge to the giblets. The occasion celebrates a
meal pilgrims shared with Indians, and as such strangers and outsiders
are always welcomed. But the best part? Each guest at the table is
asked to reflect on what they’re thankful for. A small and simple
gesture with great gain – awareness. It may sound a little
”Indeedily-doodily” naff but, believe me, it’s not that painful.

Be nice to trees. It does my head in that the only time kids are asked
to admire a tree is when it’s covered in store-bought crap and dying
in their lounge room. How about planting one at Christmas, then taking
time to admire its growth the next? Nicer message for the young folk,

Pass on the parcel on Boxing Day. This day was traditionally for the
giving of gifts outside the family – that is, to staff and the poor.
Let’s make it the time we re-gift and encourage children to keep only
their favourites (or one present if you’re happy to be blamed in their
future therapy) and give the rest to charity.

And don’t just take it to a good-will bin and leave it there. Let the
children see the faces of others less well off. Visit the kids’
hospital. Enter the shelter. Realise that the poor are not a
subspecies. They are just like us; only they don’t see that jumper
your aunt knitted as daggy, just warm.

Give something you actually care about – yourself. I know, it sounds
as corny as hell, but think about this: if you promise to mow your
parents’ lawns fortnightly, or visit your nan once a month, or help a
friend move house, you won’t have to visit a shopping mall that could
double as a Death Star to Christmas shop – ever. And it won’t cost you
a cent. And you won’t need to wrap anything in crappy, overpriced
paper festooned with holly and snow and other symbols that have
nothing to do with the 40-degree reality of our southern hemisphere

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December 15, 2012 - Posted by | general

1 Comment »

  1. […] Christmas can be simpler and better ( […]

    Pingback by Don’t Panic – It’s Christmas! | NannySavvy | December 17, 2012 | Reply

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