Updated: Jun 12
Christmas is never a busy time for me, it wasn’t when the children were little and it certainly isn’t now. I have always refused to get caught up in the consumerism, the stress and the tinsel…oh how I hate tinsel.
There are many things that annoy me about Christmas; It has always concerned me, from a young age, how much of it we throw away, the boxes, wrapping paper, decorations, crackers, cards, food packaging and waste food. The pointless stressing over whether everything is done on time, how much money has been spent on who, making sure Christmas cards have been sent out, what day the tree should go up. who’s drinking and who’s driving, where are we having dinner and it should be my parents this year, the unnecessary food shop. And don’t get me started on religion.
When the children were little and school had wound them up with their endless parties and what’s Santa bringing for you and released them home for the holidays like an untied balloon. Home was then a space for calm, there were no decorations, no sign of any gifts, no clue even that Christmas existed, for a couple of days at least. It became a little tradition that the tree was bought on Christmas Eve, so we paid no more than £10 for it and preferably with roots. If there was no tree, we made one, together.
I haven’t used wrapping paper for a long time. I made lots of various sized fabric bags from old clothes and those were used every year, and a stocking was a pillow case. The gifts consisted on one big one for all the family, a new TV or music system, everyone would get a dvd, or cd. Always books, paper, pencils, socks and pants and whatever they needed for school. During the year I pick up bits in charity shops and sales, sometimes ebay so there’s no need for the stressful last minute shop. Quite often I forget what I’ve bought, go to the gift box at the end of the year and surprise myself.
This year I was stumped. I asked the kids several times during the year if there was anything in particular they wanted. None of them could think of anything and as I had been doing a lot of painting over November/December, I painted for them.
Girl2 is a huge fan of the Studio Ghibli animations, particularly Sprited Away (I may do a collection for her…) and her twin bother is a huge fan of Sonic (I can’t believe he’s still around) the Hedgehog.
For the older 2 I went for bands. These are all done in watercolour pencils and ink.
I must admit, for about a day I was worried that they wouldn’t be appreciated. that it was something they’d just dismiss. I was very wrong, they loved them, especially Girl2 who squealed with delight, even at 15! I’m quite lucky that they appreciate how much work goes into something handmade. Girl1 and Boy2 are very talented artists themselves, even at their young ages (proud mum moment) Boy1 is the only one of all of them who will knit a gift. Girl2 is still finding her feet.
Christmas shouldn’t be stressful, it shouldn’t be about the gifts, or the image, or the money, I doubt Jesus would have wanted that.
It should be about time, new beginnings, a new world, love and peace.