Christmas turns people into present monsters.
I read this news article today. It is about the Archbishop of Canterbury (in an interview) saying families are miserable at Christmas because of spending pressures. What was interesting (and shows what just how bad things are) were the social media comments that followed. The two key ones were…
1) Blame the government…. not enough hand outs.
Some argue the government is to blame (you can always rely on blame culture). The government doesn’t give us enough benefits, hasn’t created any jobs … etc etc to keep up with having to spend lots of money. Ehm… It may be news to these people – but the government does not force you to spend vast amounts of money (that you don’t have) at Christmas and send you into debt. Being unemployed or living in poverty might not make for a great Christmas – but if that’s all you have then that’s it. We only have ourselves to blame if we spend more than we earn or are given?
Whilst those hideous Wonga puppets might be trying to pull your strings and tempt you into obtaining instant cash … you are in control of whether you fall victim and agree to these horrific interest rates.
2) Family influence…. I have to buy for every great niece, 3rd cousin twice removed and the dog…. or I won’t be liked/loved/accepted.
One person said it wasn’t the money – more the stress of buying for all these people. WHY! God gave you a brain… use it. You are making yourself stressed for NO reason!!
Christmas turns people into present monsters! Running round for months before hand, buying for people they only see once in a blue moon or at a wedding or funeral. It’s crazy. People will get themselves in debt just to make sure the dog gets prime beef for it’s Christmas dinner and the cat gets a new piece of bling. Presents have to be the biggest gifts, in the shiniest paper, with the top designer brands or labels. Oh, and not just one present that means something to the person …. it has to be several presents …. of meaningless items they could buy themselves any time of the year. The sort that will be on eBay within the week because the person who has bought the gift doesn’t know them from Adam. If they did, they would have known that great Aunt Mildred had both legs amputed a year ago due to diabetes and that a foot massager was not a thoughtful gift at all. Trust me, this happens to disabled people a lot.
3) The need to show off
It’s it definitely not the thought that counts – its all about competing with others, status and superiority. Facebook will be adorned with ‘look at all the presents my kids had for Christmas’ photos …. and status updates like ‘gosh that’s the 8th sack of wrapping paper I’ve just put out for the bins’. Status updates are prime space to show off our wealth and success. Photos from the ten Christmas Grottos that little Johny has been to will also be there for all to see … it’s never ending. No wonder people are miserable and broke.
What happened to teaching children (and adults) to be grateful and not wanting? What happened to the actual point of Christmas as a Holy Celebration for Christians? That has been well buried under the present sacks of excess. Commercialism makes it harder – of course, but you don’t have to give in to the urge to cater for 50 people at Christmas when there will only be 5 around your table – no matter what the Iceland or M&S advertisements tells you. No one is making you buy all that food and stuff yourselves until you are sick. You will create that misery yourselves too.
SO… how miserable are your going to make your Christmas?