Sunday, 14 November 2010

Christmas



Well folks It's not long to go now. Have you started Christmas shopping yet? I have all my Christmas cards written out and ready to post. I have started the Christmas shopping. The kids are older now so no big panic to buy toys these days.  I love Christmas, it brings out the big kid in me. This year though,  I am going to keep it simple. I am so over buying things that people may not want or need, A return to simple values at Christmas is well over due. The most important thing at this time of year to me is, being with loved ones and sharing a meal with them. It does not have to be relations, just people that matter to us.

Many people today cannot afford to have Christmas. It is like a return to pre WW2  on a financial level.   Why is it that at Christmas, people start to behave themselves, but go right back to their usual behaviour when Christmas is over. It says something about us doesn't it?  Just like spoilt children.

This Christmas we could just keep it simple and just give small gifts to each other. Some people just cannot give expensive gifts as their money is needed to pay bills and feed themselves. The Banks and Retailers are just wanting to get their hands on our hard earned money. Do not fall into the credit card trap, it is going to cause serious problems in the weeks after Christmas. Be sensible and discuss with your loved ones the cost of all this nonsense. Gift vouchers are a good option, especially for young people.

A gift of a home made Christmas Hamper, with quality treats works out cheaper than buying one already made up. I find store bought ones are not value for money, often with things that some people don't eat. Knowing a persons likes and dislikes makes for better value. I make hampers up for older relatives quite often and they love them.

The things that I put into the hampers are usually, Twining's tea bags (10 pack) of 2 different flavours, Shortbread, some Christmas cake (store bought), Nuts and nibbles. Maybe a bottle of wine and a lovely candle. For people that are house bound you might want to put in a couple of magazines. The list is endless. It is knowing what the person likes and things that they don't normally buy for themselves.

Even hand creams, moisturisers, luxury soaps etc, are good   for women. These things don't break the bank and won't leave you broke, paying off the credit card for the rest of the year. Keep Christmas dinner simple too, You don't have to eat until you are feeling sick. Don't buy too much junk food either. buy fruit and some nuts, The fruit markets are cheaper than supermarkets for fruit and veg. It is also a good idea to put money aside each week or each month to put towards Christmas. Try and spend under $1000. Don't fall for all the advertising and marketing hype. These Retailers do not care about you and your family having no money. All they want is to make a big fat profit. Stay right away from credit cards as much as you can.

Just think back 40 years and beyond. How did other people manage. Simple the managed their money better. Of course they didn't have food and consumer goods that cost the Earth. Women knew how to make do and mend. Today we can't do that due to the cost of fabric being so high and cheap clothes that cannot be repaired. Everything is made in China in sweat shops owned by western businesses  people.

It all boils down to being strong enough to stick to a strict budget not just at Christmas, but all year round. If you can't buy it with cash stay away from it. We are all getting too greedy and want way too much. This is something that will come to a crashing halt. The market is not going to hold up much longer. We are coming to the end of a time where mass consumerism was forced on to us, we are being pushed back into a time of poverty and living simpler. This is going to last for many years, so get used to it. Stop wasting  money on things that you don't need. Wanting is not the same a needing . Learn the difference between a luxury and a necessity. Perfume is a luxury item as is jewellery, make up, designer name items such as clothes, handbags and shoes. You are making these people obscenely richer than they deserve. The rest of us have debt, and misery. We truly are creatures of our own making. No one forces us to be greedy, it is a negative quality that we can all be guilty of to some extent.

We do need a lesson on being humble and grateful for what we have. Spare a thought for the homeless and the poor when you do your Christmas shopping. What will they have this Christmas?

Please be sensible and buy responsibly. Even the domestic animals are suffering at this time of year. Some are neglected, unloved and unwanted. They have no voice, they can't say I am hungry, I am thirsty  or I don't feel well. Many pets become homeless at this time of year more than at any other time of year.

I am so glad to know that my hairy children will be safe, well fed and well loved.  We take good care of our little ones every day of their lives. They have more love and shelter than some Humans do.

Please spare a thought for those that are alone at Christmas also. This is a time of year for suicide and depression. Many people are so lonely and sad at this time of year. Check on people that you know are alone and make sure that they are all right. I myself, when I was a child have experienced the sadness of being away from my extended family in a new country. I missed them terribly, it was beyond my control as I was a child. Christmas was never the same for me after that. I am a family person at heart. It was hard on my parents too I musty admit. We did return to Scotland a few times over the years and I did have Christmas and other good times with my relatives. I have many fond memories of a Cold Scottish Christmas as well as hot Australian Christmases.

I am most grateful to have a family of my own now. I appreciate the value of family and friends, I enjoy good company all the time, but especially at Christmas. It is a basic Human right to be loved, to have food to eat and a safe roof over our heads and to have good health. But for some of us it seems to me, that we still have very little time or love for each other, not to mention our very loving and trusting hairy or furry companions on this Earth.

Here is hoping that all of us have a wonderful Christmas for 2010. Lets release the big kid in ourselves and share the magic and the love in our hearts.