It's only fair to share…

If Christmas did not exist it would need to be invented. Perfectly timed at the end of the year, it allows for many people worldwide to celebrate in some way, shape or form. This may be the formal religious celebration or simply a catch up with friends and family.

Given recent world events and the start we had to the decade this was never more apt.

It continues to endure despite the efforts of the humourless PC brigade to erase it. We see “celebration cakes” instead of Christmas cakes and the rewriting of Christmas Carols with PC lyrics.  And of course, the use of “happy holidays” instead of Merry Christmas which ignores the fact that the only reason there is a “holiday” in happy holidays is because it is Christmas. Never in human existence has it been so controversial to simply call a spade a spade.

The Jewish festival of Hanukkah (running from December 7 till 25) celebrates light. As has been noted by many writers, light is a metaphor for education, truth, discovery freedom love and hope. Darkness provides a cover which light dissolves. It is very difficult to hide in bright light.

As an article in The Spectator noted in 2018- “With so much encroaching darkness on so many fronts and in so many parts of the modern world, the significance of light and all it symbolizes is something we could all do with celebrating”. Remember this was five years ago but could easily have been written yesterday.

Personally, I remain optimistic about the future of the world and do not buy into all the doom and gloom predictions of planetary destruction. Every single prediction of the end of the world (it was going to end in 2023) has been wrong and they will continue to be. We will get past 2030 too!

Returning to Christmas, it is worth remembering that it is not a happy time for all. Those who have lost loved ones (especially recently) will feel a magnified sadness. For others who are alone this feeling can be heightened. And then there are those who get stressed about Christmas.

It always strikes me as odd that many adults look forward to Christmas being over. As children, they looked forward to Christmas. When did it stop being fun?

And what can we do to put the fun back in?

Like all things in life Christmas time will be what you make of it. The essence of the season is about relationships and giving not struggling.

If you don’t want to party then don’t. It is OK to decline invitations. Equally if you enjoy parties then go out and do so. If you don’t want to have a big meal, then you don’t have to. If you don’t want to cater for large numbers then don’t. Alternately you can ask everyone you invite to bring a plate. Make a list to avoid double ups.

There is no need to do more or buy more stuff than you feel comfortable doing. Young children often enjoy the wrapping paper as much as the present inside. You don’t have to buy for everyone. Cards and small mementos can be as cherished as golden rings. Plus, use cash rather than plastic if managing the budget and not wanting a credit card hangover in January.

The power to choose rests with you. Decisions that you make in life will never please everyone so they might as well please you. You can be respectful of others, but still run your own race at Christmas and every day.

This is the last article for 2023. Thank you to readers and subscribers. I am contemplating moving the blog to Substack next year and would welcome thoughts on this.

A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.