I am feeling a bit nostalgic at present - for the times when Christmas was simpler. I find all the shopping, stressing, commercialism, and consumerism too much to bear.
I get flustered and grumpy about "overseas" posting which, in the 30 odd years I have been living in NZ is still a major event. How come there are now e-books, e-cards and e-gift certificates but it still takes a week to send a parcel to the UK and costs a small fortune (often more than the cost of the carefully chosen NZ goodies enclosed??) Why can my carefully chosen "Aroha" tee shirt, from Postie + costing less than $10 not be sent via teleportation to the my primary school friend?? You know like the cool transportation thing in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?? In thirty years or more so many "time saving devices" have been invented and refined, why not the postal service??
When I was a child I was totally oblivious to all the stress associated with present-buying, food preparation and decorating. I was about 9 years old, I think when I woke up one Christmas Eve night to see my parents putting the stockings at the end of my sisters and my beds. I pretended not be awake though!! Now I am the mother, and I know its a total waste of time to say things like "If you are naughty/don't eat your broccoli/ forget to clean your room etc then Santa won't be delivering any presents!!" because I will be answered back with "Muuuuuuummmmm, I KNOW that Santa does not exist".
Her Christmas stocking is a MIC one, purchased from the "red shed" aka The Warehouse. My "stocking" used to be one of a pair of socks, and contain an orange, nuts and small gifts like chocolate coins and pencils. Oh, and the other sock!! My daughter looked at me in stunned amazement when she reached in and pulled out an orange - "Mum, why is there an ORANGE in my stocking!!
This is a photo of me and my baby sister, sitting on my Nana's knee, at our house in 1971. My blow up Rudolph Reindeer, a gift, possibly from my other Nana, sits beside us like a guest of honour. Rudolph is totally to blame for my love of all things to do with Bambi and other deer like creatures. Can you see the orange angle lamp in the background on the right side of the TV? I still have that lamp - it does not really fit any where in my house at the moment but when I have a new lounge, I will find a spot for it. The chair, is a bentwood one, part of the Swedish dining set my parents still use daily. My Nana bless her, was probably minding her grand-daughters while my mother was in the kitchen. We would alternate Christmases at their house in Yorkshire, and ours in Lincolnshire. Nana came to NZ with us in the 1980s and was part of our family Christmases right up to the mid 1990s.
For me Christmas is not about spending lots of money and struggling with the masses to the 30% sales, it is about spending time with family, at home, eating good food, possibley too much food, and being thankful.