Doing Christmas

I read a post by JanH about Christmas that chimed with me. Rather than paraphrase or summarise it, I’ll give you the link here.

Cutting back does not mean a sad and miserable yule. Take away those ghastly hours in overheated shops looking for gifts you do not have any confidence the recipient will actually like, and suddenly you have time for the fun side of the jolly season.

With me at the Nine Lessons and Carols at St Bart’s the Great on Tuesday were my blogging pal TBM and some friends who are also neighbours.

These friends have decided not to give Chriatmas presents. Quite a brave move as their boys have not long entered double figures. The boys are with it in theory, but not entirely on side. The younger one, newly twelve, said they weren’t doing Christmas as Christmas really was about presents. His mother disagreed, and sang the carols loudly and rather beautifully. (Under normal circs, when do you discover your friends have good singing voices?)

In the last few years, I have had a pact with most friends not to exchange gifts. With some friends we go for a nice, but not expensive, gift, plus things culled from the charity shops. The charity shop gifts often cause the most amusement/amazement/delight.

As a consequence of this opting out of Christmas commercialism, I find I am enjoying the build up to Christmas much more. Yes, I know the lights are there to entice me into the shops, but I am remaining out in the street. Writing and sending cards is still rather intensive, but here I am, a full six days before the event and all are posted or delivered by hand. Again, I have cut back on cards I send, and it is only a matter of time before I stop altogether and make a donation to charity instead.

Aunt isn’t sending cards at all this year. The arthritis in her hands combined with the loss of energy after her suspected heart attack made the whole card business much too much.

She should receive the wildlife rescue book I ordered from Secret World; some second hand DVDs, and a bunch of new flowers in the next few days. At least one of her great nephews will call on her, and we are working on how to set up and show her how to use an Audible account. She was hinting fairly heavily on the ‘phone that she thinks this will be her last Christmas. I hope she’s wrong.

MasterB has a present that he may not get until the New Year as I should like him to enjoy it without Cookie taking it over, but at the same time I am longing to see if he likes it. So patience not being one of my virtues, he’ll probably get the cahnce to ignore it on Chrsitmas morning.

As I was munching my lentils last night and enjoying them, I thought I might ditch the annual nutroast this year, and have lentils on the 25th.

With Brussel sprouts. And champagne.

I have some standards.


14 thoughts on “Doing Christmas

  1. We don’t do a lot of gift exchange any more…….everyone’s kids are grown up and it was mostly fun watching THEM open presents on Christmas that made it enjoyable to GIVE them……David and I do gift exchange but that’s about it. We also don’t celebrate WITH anyone else – it’s a “just the two of us” holiday and we love it…..fireplace, champagne, and looking back at the year gone by and being grateful to still be here to face a new year. Enjoy those sprouts Isobel!

    Holiday Hugs to you and MasterB………………..Pam and Sam

    • The whole big presents, great expenditure and frantic shopping business leaves me cold. As Mother got older and frailer it was nice to give her things throughout the year. Now it’s the same with Aunt. I am planning a v quiet Christmas at home with MasterB and the visiting Cookie. I can’t imagine anything nicer – so long as both cats get on that is!

  2. I’m not into the commercialism either. And there’s nothing wrong with lentils. We love them here. And we love champagne even more 🙂 Happy holidays!

    • I have often wondered what people did to lentils in the 2WW to make them so very despised. I eat them a lot. They are my favourite pulse vegetable. So much nicer that red kidney beans which I really do not like much at all.
      Checking out the price of Cava…

    • I stocked up on lentils in case, but it may be a beetroot risotto, or the brown rice risotto I’ve not made for a few years. Or maybe it will be the nut roast after all. And I love sprouts. Why do they have such a bad reputation?

  3. CH and I only shop for the little great nephews and that was done online and delivered by FedEx. We exchange one gift. Our family Christmas is this Sunday and it will be about family and FOOD and hopefully every BODY is healthy. We haven’t done the crazy holiday shopping thing for years and I haven’t sent snail mail cards for years. I think we have a much nicer holiday opting out of all the commercialism. We will spend Christmas Eve and Christmas day just the two of us as always unless The Mama isn’t going to one of CH’s brother’s. We will be having chicken and homemade noodles! Enjoy your sprouts Isobel! Hugs and Holiday Wishes to you and MasterB.. and Cookie 🙂

    • Is FedEx expensive? I have only used it the once to shop some calendars, and the buyer worked for FedEx, so I didn’t hand over any cash.
      I love consumable gifts, as mentioned before; soap, wine, cheese all score highly in my book, but it really do not need more stuff! So my other preferences are for sponsorship of a good cause – an endangered animal for example via the WWF or Secret world.

  4. Thanks for the linky thing Isobel and, well, thank *goodness* for the champagne!! :-))

    I’m getting the feeling I’m well behind the curve on getting Christmas into reasonable proportion but I think I will get there. I found that the not giving cards thing didn’t work. Yes we gave a whopping donation to Oxfam to buy a donkey but still sent out my homemade cards explaining that’s what we’d done. I’ve nothing against Christmas cards as long as the *entire* amount goes to a great charity rather than the measly 5% on some packs.

    I haven’t bought the cats anything this year. They have been spectacularly uninterested in Christmases so far and I feel Leo will be more interested in turkey than anything from a pet shop… 😉

    • Yes the card thing v email and donation is a bit of a problem. However, I give comparatively few cards to people I see on a regular basis. Time was, I used to give to all colleagues. And endless list.
      MasterB’s present is more for my enjoyment in seeing him playing. He does like toys, but I still have some he was given last year in mint condition because he has so many. Silver paper still ranks very high. Along with string.
      The new one is a scratch post come hidey hole. I think Cookie will love it!

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