There are a few Christmas traditions that irritate us all, yet nobody ever says anything about them or just starts their own ones!
Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas! From choosing and setting up the Christmas tree and falling in love with each ornament all over again, to seeing the lights all over town coming on at dusk transforming the streets of London into a magical wonderland. It’s the time of the year to be grateful, at peace and of course let’s not forget the best of all, indulging in as many mince pies and as much mulled wine as we like!
There are however a few Christmas traditions that irritate me just a tad. I mean, honestly, I think they cause more stress than bliss during a time when we should all just focus on spreading festive joy. I don’t dislike or hate them per se, but generally I feel they can turn into burdens adding pressure for no reason at all. To highlight my point, here are 3 things I feel make Christmas a little less extraordinary:
Handwritten cards are special. Lets face it, who doesn’t love receiving a handwritten card knowing that someone took the time to write it? I adore and treasure them.
But why do we have to send a card to every Tom, Dick and Harry at Christmas? I mean think about those parents who are forced to give out cards to every child in their offspring’s classes…“Mummy I need 30 Christmas cards.” “What do you need 30 Christmas cards for?” “My classmates.” “Do you talk to all of them?” “NO.” “Why not give cards to your friends?” “Everyone does it, obvs.”…Seriously?!
So why not sit down this year, take a minute to think about whom you actually want to write to – Do all your co-workers really deserve one and do you honestly talk to all your neighbours? Instead of writing a generic standard greeting over, over and over again, maybe you will find the time to fill your cards with thoughtful, love filled, personal words and give the handwritten card its power back.
A fireplace just wouldn’t be a fireplace at Christmas without a few stockings hanging from it, right? Stockings just add the perfect final touch to make your home feel Christmassy.
Stockings’ as decorations aside, using them for presents on Christmas morning is a totally different story, even if it is their main purpose. The word ‘Stocking Fillers’ really makes me cringe. Together with the millions of articles, blog posts and Youtube videos cluttering the Internet, giving us endless ideas on how to stuff them. Gifts of all kinds for under £10, £20, £30…just pick a number and type it into Google, I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.
I think the term ‘Stocking Fillers’ itself and using those guides, you are forcing yourself to browse the Internet, literally just to fill those ridiculously humongous stockings with any old crap. It takes away all the excitement of picking the perfect present for someone, and then to see their face light up when they open it; no matter how big or small it is – after all, size isn’t everything is it.
Going Home For Christmas
As much as we love singing along to Chris Rea’s ‘Driving home for Christmas’, those of us who have chosen London as our home also equally dread what it means. The idea of going home will always give us a warm comforting feeling no matter our age. It isn’t only that feeling we get though, sadly.
Everyone can relate to the arguments around the Christmas tree and spending hours plotting how to avoid them, but no matter how much we plot, there’s simply no way you can. On one hand it’s family, you argue and fight just to make up and love each other again. On the other hand, does that mean we should just accept that, and go through it year after year, or every now and again, change it up? If only it was that simple.
These days, we live all over the world and it’s no longer as simple as driving home for Christmas anymore. It involves squeezing two weeks worth of clothes into a tiny carry on bag, getting on trains, planes, more trains and navigating through crowded terminals, all whilst also balancing an awkwardly shaped sack of gifts – at the same time as everyone else in the world!
I’m not saying don’t go home and see your family for Christmas, but its okay to want to find the right balance and what works for you. Don’t stress if you decide not to. In the end, it is all about being happy and merry with whomever you choose to spend it with.
Have a jolly Christmas everyone whatever you do!