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’tis the season


Why is Christmas so disappointing for adults? Ever since I was a kid, Christmas was the best thing in the year, the thing I most looked forward to. But as many others will probably agree, as you get older, that magic lessens and especially in my case, is replaced by a pessimism and cynicism I wish I could shake off.

This year I will be celebrating, for the first time, Christmas in July with my sister, her husband and his side of the family.

But the closer is comes, the more I keep thinking: ‘Is all that makes Christmas an appealing holiday is the thought of presents?’ My last few Christmases haven’t been rife with presents in an attempt to get into a spirit of a family celebration rather than the giving and receiving of crappy presents. However, these last few celebrations have been not only boring but disappointing.

This year I made a promise to make some of my gifts to try and retrieve some of that magic I remember as a child. My first attempt was at making bath bombs for stocking fillers, and as the result was less than amiable, I started to think: ‘I wouldn’t want this crap for Christmas, why would anyone else?’

The fact of the matter is that Christmas just isn’t the same without young children. There’s just some sort of magic when you’re a child. You don’t care what present you got, just that Santa had came. And not just that; your family is together and you can sit around the tree in the morning, opening presents and spending time with each other.

I think the real problem is as we grow older, we become attuned to the more commercialised side of Christmas; the beautiful tree, the expensive gifts, the tacky t-shirts, the gluttonous dinner. It’s all shown in such a way that we feel if we do it right this year, we’ll get that eternal happiness and be more like the people we see on the television and in ads – happy and beautiful and unrealistic. So when Christmas does come around, and we burn the dinner and the presents are mediocre, and we’re stuck with our annoying siblings and cousins who are fighting, we feel more depressed when what we should really be doing is appreciating the time we spend with our family.

This is probably why when you’re a kid you ask Santa for peace on Earth, or something similar. Now we have a growing list of little bits, trinkets, jewellery, clothing, perfume. The demand drains us and we correlate Christmas with the wasting of money for people we don’t really get along with rather than how we should be thinking of Christmas.

So as Christmas in July draws closer I will concentrate less on the unattainable perfection of Christmas and more on the time I get to spend with my family.

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