Christmas thoughts and wishes

It’s only a week to go until ‘the big day’. Having just returned from a shopping expedition in Hereford City, I admit to feeling just a little hollow about the whole shabang. Is this due to my age, I wonder, or are you feeling the same?

There’s just so much tat associated with Christmas nowadays. The department stores are chockablock with stocking fillers that include packets of ‘reindeer pooh’, novelty socks, farting cushions and festive deelyboppers. Does anyone really want any of this stuff? They may raise a small smile upon opening, but will that compensate for their cost – not just actual but to the environment?

Then there’s the canned music that I heard in every single shop I went into. How many times does one really need to hear ‘Driving Home for Christmas’, ‘Stop the Cavalry’ or ‘Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time’? These songs have been playing since shortly after Halloween! My likelihood of simply having a wonderful Christmas time is inversely proportional to the number of times that I hear these blooming songs!

I blame marketing!

I blame marketing. As a professional marketer I can appreciate the techniques used by retailers that are intended to compel us to buy more stuff. The advertisements depicting real family life on telly too show us how to ‘do’ Christmas and what we need to achieve this. But how moral is it? And how far does it reflect the true meaning of Christmas?

It’s a really difficult time for people who aren’t well off – especially if there are children involved. The pressure on parents is huge and many will incur significant debt to ‘keep up with the Joneses’. According to research commissioned by Debt Hacker (reported in the Huffington Post), 35% of British people say they feel pressure to spend more than they can afford at Christmas. Similarly, research from MoneySuperMarket reveals that 31% of us expect to overspend at Christmas.

For me, Christmas is about having a break from work and spending more time with my family and friends. Although I love to give and receive presents, the main focus is on being together and appreciating what I’ve got. I’m thankful that I have loved ones with whom I can celebrate and mindful that others aren’t so fortunate.

Enjoy just being

My Christmas wish to my customers, followers, friends and acquaintances is for a peaceful, happy and regenerative Christmas and New Year. Unwind, relax and appreciate the things that matter. Don’t be hoodwinked by the marketers or others’ demands. Ignore any pressure to do anything more than you want – or can afford – to do. And enjoy just being with those you love.

See you in 2020!

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