I LOVE Christmas and all of the festivities. The decorations, the movies, the music, the food, family time… What I don’t love though is the consumerism. People feeling forced into spending hundreds of pounds that they don’t have just to keep up with the rest of society. Christmas was supposed to be a celebration of Jesus and most people don’t even believe he ever existed. Yet everyone gets worked up about buying expensive jewellery, toys and electronics every year. Weird.
Most of the time, everyone just ends up with a bunch of stuff they could live without and a massive hole in their pocket. I know that many people get into serious debt buying Christmas presents and I think it’s all a bit ridiculous. A lot of people I know feel exactly the same but they continue buying tonnes of presents because for some reason we feel that the amount of gifts represents the amount of love we have for someone. It disturbs me how much it gets drummed into us that we need to buy everyone the most fabulous and most trendy Christmas gifts, and if you don’t splash out then you’re a Scrooge.
So over the last few years I’ve drastically cut back on gift giving. I’ve also asked my family to do the same for me. I think Christmas is a great excuse to spend quality time with the people you love and eat delicious food 24/7 but I just don’t understand the hype about giving or receiving expensive material goods.
£1 Christmas gifts?
When I worked at the call centre we did Secret Santa like most offices do. But my manager at the time came up with the idea that the spending limit should be £1. The rule was that you couldn’t spend a single penny over. Because the low spending limit allowed everyone to get involved, we ended up doing it every year. Over the years I got chocolate, hangover meds, hand warmers and a spatula (?). I love it because it takes the focus off of the gift itself and becomes more about creativity and thoughtfulness. It’s always been lots of fun.
My boyfriend and I agreed to do the £1 Christmas gifts thing this year as he holds similar beliefs about the materialistic side of Christmas. Instead of exchanging big presents on Christmas day, we are going to give 12 £1 presents each, one for each day in the 12 days leading up to Christmas. 12 presents makes a bit more fun and still costs very little. It also makes the game a lot more challenging. Saying that, I think I did pretty well buying for him. I won’t post what I got him yet because I know he will read this (hi).
*Hint: it’s not a spatula
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