As we undoubtably approach the Christmas period, it’s the time people chaotically begin shopping for gifts, but following that time comes the judgement.
As a child, having my birthday in December, meant that I would wait all year for everything I wanted. Following Easter, I would start my list of things I’d love. From April to December it would change a great deal, but from the beginning of December I would have a clear list of Birtbday and Christmas presents. One or two would be small gifts or stocking fillers, there were a few which were realistic and then there was always the big present. The one I hoped my mum and dad, or Santa would bring. Sometimes I’d get it, sometimes I wouldn’t. It certainly wasn’t a sure thing.
As my youngest daughters birthday passes I find myself focussed on Christmas and what to buy. There’s always a small sense of pride when I begin my Christmas shopping!
But I do do things differently. I don’t spend equal amounts on my nieces and nephews! Shock. I know. My children don’t get the exact same amount down the penny and a friend or family members gift can vary significantly. Why? Because for me it’s about thought. That’s it. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been the creative type, I don’t make gifts, but I do think about how someone would feel opening it. So for me, it may be a photo of a loved one who passed away that year, it might be a little survival kit for the big event in their life the following year. It could be the friend I know has everything but a night off, so a pledge to babysit. They might just love a bottle of wine and the knowledge of a night in putting the world to rights. It might be a ticket to see the band we loved when we were young, it might be the spa day, pampering kit or chocolates. There’s no right or wrong answer for me.
There’s people who don’t have time to shop, the best gift you can give them is understanding that they might not have been your priority this year. They may be unable to afford presents through money issues, or a lack of time through working or caring for relatives who are unwell.
Whatever you do or don’t do, whether you spend nothing, a fiver or five hundred pounds, if you take all the time in the world, or none at all, don’t judge others. There might be a reason someone spends a fortune on their kids at Christmas, there may be some who don’t celebrate it at all.
I know one thing for certain, if we all spend less time judging others, well all have more time to enjoy this time of year, whatever you choose to do with it.