Emma made a very good point in reply to a facebook thread this evening:

The true holiday spirit is about love and kindness, not materialism and shopping. Do your best not to get caught up in the latter.

This is a very good point. And related to this, I’ve always found it weird, and indeed ungracious, how so many people seem to find it necessary to head straight off to the Boxing Day sales, only a day after they’ve just been given lots of presents. Whilst some of this might be to spend money that they have been given (which is understandable, but also slightly weird if people have ‘asked’ for money), and some might be to go and purchase something for which they have been saving up for, which isn’t terribly ‘presenty’ and which they can get cheaper in the sales, I’m sure a lot of it is just people trying to escape the family or buying things that they want but haven’t been given, which is, to me very much not in the spirit of Christmas.

Of course, when so many people buy things that people don’t want, I guess this behaviour is hardly surprising. So why do we buy things that people don’t want? Why is it necessary? Why don’t we all just do the ‘natural’ thing and ask our loved ones what they would like? And as a lead up to this why don’t we all, instead of buy, buy, buying everything we want when we want, just stop for a moment and think, ‘No, I don’t need that now, and it would make a good Christmas (or birthday) present’, and add it to a list. With luck, come each Christmas and birthday our lists will be too long for the number of presents and so there shall still be the element of surprise but we all get things that we want. And it all means so much more to everyone.

Oh, and we should learn to spend good quality time with our loved ones, be them family or friends, in the comfort of our homes, and allow the poor shop/restaurant staff to have some quality time with their loved ones instead of serving a load of ungracious shoppers…