Try Cancelling Christmas

ChristmasThe Silly Season is over with for one more year and for many, that comes as a quiet relief – even if you essentially enjoy Christmas, New Year and all the “holiday” celebrations. It’s often intense, sometimes frantic, occasionally regretful and money, which you could probably have put to better use, has been wantonly spent.

A few years ago, disappointed by the amount of wasteful consumption, downright gluttony and forced bonhomie of the seasonal celebrations, I cancelled Christmas. No tree, no decorations, no cards, no gift giving (except in a very token way to the little people in our tribe), no overt consumption of food and drink, no parties. It was a blessed relief and more in sync with my values so I’ve kept going with it.

I’ve been questioned about my decision – sometimes incredulously – and been labelled a Scrooge but there are many who’ve given me a congratulatory pat on the back and said that they wished that they could do the same. One woman I know goes overseas alone each December to avoid all the obligatory parties and excesses. Another decided to spend Christmas Day helping those less fortunate by cooking and serving a community Christmas Lunch.

I’ve found it interesting this last year following the 1 Million Women campaign to reduce waste over the holidays and The Story of Stuff Project on Facebook – both coming up with different ideas to make Christmas less wasteful and more creative.

So before we forget about Christmas until next September when the stores start to fill with decorations and “gift ideas” and we are bombarded with TV ads to go spend big in order to really celebrate, think about what you want Christmas 2015 to look like. If it was all too much last year, how can you celebrate in a quieter, more meaningful way without the excessive consumption, waste, stress and spending?

We seem to have forgotten that Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus and not about some fat guy in a red suit distributing largesse. It can be a time for quiet reflection, reconnecting with friends and family, thinking of others, being generous with your time, creating traditions, making memories, sharing……. or not. The choice is yours to make but decide well before the event how or if you will celebrate and share that decision early so that no one is unnecessarily offended or disappointed.