Wednesday, 2 November 2011

The True Spirit of Christmas

Less than two months until Christmas! Have you started your shopping yet?

As we get closer to Christmas, we tend to panic when we start running out of shopping days. My question is, when did Christmas become so commercial? There is more money spent on advertising this season than throughout the entire year I'm sure. Kids watch TV and end up with lists a mile long; and they want the most expensive things.

When I was growing up, my Grandma made us flannel pajamas and knit slippers almost every year. I loved getting them! Sure, I had wish lists too, and my parents always made sure we got a toy of some sort. I can recall getting games, Legos and other toys. The one Christmas gift I got when I was perhaps 10 or 11 (don't quite remember) was a beading loom, which I still have. I spent hours making little bracelets with it. My point is, the handmade gifts and the simple gifts were the ones I remember most. Money was not as plentiful as it seems to be now; or perhaps people just go into debt more at Christmas to buy whatever the kids want.

Whatever happened to Christmas being about family and friends getting together, and not about the dollar value of gifts? I was raised to believe it was the thought that counts, but with the limits and lists today it seems the true spirit of the season is gone. I have made gifts for family members in the past; some were appreciated and others not so much. What many people don't realize when they receive a hand made gift is the love and work that has gone into it. Anyone can buy a gift, but one that was made is that much more special. I loved getting handmade gifts. I do have to say I hated to give up the worn out comfy pj's though.

I understand that not everyone knows how to make things, and not everyone wants a handmade gift. Sometime there are items on the list that we do not want to buy ourselves; or we can't justify spending money on something we don't really need. My ex husband refused to buy me appliances for gifts; I always said it didn't matter if it was one I wanted or needed. If it is on the list, should it be ignored? My opinion, no it shouldn't be. A few years ago my kids bought me a sandwich maker; it is one of the most used small appliances in our home. I was very happy with it.

As much as I like handmade gifts, this year I have a Kobo Vox eReader on my list. I have told family they could even pool their resources; it is something I will get a lot of use out of. I have downloaded several eBooks onto my computer and would love to be able to sit down and read elsewhere. Plus with the apps available for it, I will be able to utilize it for my own book writing and marketing. I had considered investing in a smartphone, but I think the Kobo Vox will be just as good.

It appears I have strayed off topic, but that's what makes life so interesting. Now, back to the spirit of Christmas. If making gifts isn't your idea of fun or you feel they won't be truly appreciated, why not make some ornaments for the tree instead? Spend some time with family members making ornaments for your tree and a few extras which may be used as gift tags. Make a Star for the tree or a Wreath for the door. Patterns for these can be found in the first book in The Homemaker Helper Series which is available in print and as an eBook.

Spend quality time with your family; that's what really matters. Don't get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season and forget what it's really about. Slow down; invite friends over for eggnog and a visit. Take the time to go for a walk and enjoy the lights and decorations. Make decorating your home a family affair. It isn't too late to make a gift or three; go through your list and create something they will cherish for years to come.

I am off to help my Dad for awhile today, then Ross and I are going to the Terri Clark concert tonight! I can hardly wait!

Have a great day and remember the true spirit of Christmas; not what it has become.


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