Christmas 2016

It is that time of year and we may just nod and agree with one or more of the following:

Demand that we make this the Perfect Christmas ever.

Find ways to top last year like getting a multi-bird on the table. (1)

Loosen our belts and munch away as that’s what everyone does.

Forget that we have a body that does not recognise a date in the calendar.

Try something new like eating 6 times because it’s the day to do that.

Eat out and pay big bucks on Christmas Day because we can.

Stuffing more food in our mouths than at any other time of the year.

Fit in another chocolate or candy cane because there is heaps to get through.

Make sure we got the heartburn pills in the cupboard.

Consume even more alcohol because it is the season to be jolly.

Make sure we indulge in anything we want because we can.

Permission to shop and keep shopping for more and more.

Must find time to make sure we get into party mode even if we don’t want to.

Gather around and try and be something we are not.

Subscribe to be ‘happy and merry’ as our Christmas cards told us.

Playing nice when we are feeling quite angry inside.

Make out we are interested in the homeless and those who have less.

Stop being real and honest as this is not the time for that.

Wearing a mask because you lost your Passport to Get Real.

Adjust our mood according to what we want and need.

Queue up for 2 hours to get inside the supermarket.

Spend another 2 hours in line for the checkout.

Add more excitement and do more shopping on line.

Sit on the motorway for 8 hours travelling with a car load of gifts.

Get caught up in Frenzied Friday just before the big day.

Lost the Plot but it doesn’t matter as it’s Christmas.

Tell ourselves that we will change suddenly when we wake up in New Year.

Thinking about the post Christmas Sales.

Planning the New Year binge to continue the excess trend.

Don’t watch the news as it may just say something we don’t want to know.

Become highly irresponsible with our choices as no one notices at this time of year.

Consent to go overboard with anything and everything.

Act super careless because it’s the norm for happy holidays.

Winging it where we can, as we want to impress others.

Don’t let our lemonade lifestyle stop us buying champagne.

Hide the deep anxiousness we feel because the plastic cards are maxed up.

Ignore the war inside us with extreme behaviour.

Make our priority going ‘over the top’ in excess mode.

Make others our priority and forget about us as that feels selfish.

Allow others to take care of us because we can’t be bothered to make any effort.

Feel resentful because we give give and there is no one giving back to us.

Write Christmas cards to people we never communicate with all year.

Ignore the fact that our faith does not celebrate Christmas.

Pretend that everything is ok and make lying look normal.

Find time to gossip and judge about this and that.

Bored with the rellies (relatives) as it brings up our buried hurts.

Spend time with our new phone and gadgets as family chit chat is boring us.

Stick the TV on because we don’t really want to communicate with others.

Forgot something and spend the whole day stressing.

Blame our bad choices on Christmas.

Dear World

What is this blog presenting to us?
Can we relate to anything that is being said?
Is any of it making any sense?
Are we ready to be honest about Christmas?

How are we choosing to live because of a date in the calendar?
How is our body feeling with the effects of Christmas?
How is our health and well-being with all that Christmas brings?
WHY do we not feel so great once Christmas is over?
WHY are some of us depressed before and after Christmas?
WHY is there such a hype every Christmas?
WHY do we strive to buy more, do more and eat more at Christmas?
WHY are stress levels super high at Christmas?
WHY do we get anxious about cooking at Christmas?

Could it be possible Christmas is adding more ill to our body?

Could it be possible we like being irresponsible with our choices at this time because it suits us?

Could it be possible we are comfortable with Christmas because we can hide our issues?

Could it be possible that Christmas allows us to indulge and live our dreams and fantasies?

Could it be possible that Christmas means time off work, over spend, eat and keep eating, drink copious amounts of alcohol, sleep in and basically live with zero Responsibility?

Could it be possible that we love the high that Christmas brings, but loathe the denseness we feel in our body from the daily choices we make the rest of the year?

Could it be possible we have set ourselves up to subscribe to the happy holiday season as it distracts us away from the everyday Back to Basics, Simple Living lifestyle that truly works to support us to take more RESPONSIBILITY?

Is it time to get honest about what is and what is not working for us in our lives?

References

(1) Fletcher, E., & Saunderson, E. (2007, December 16). It Serves 125, Takes Eight Hours to Cook and is Stuffed with 12 Different Birds … Now That Really IS a Christmas Dinner. Retrieved December 25, 2016
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-502605/It-serves-125-takes-hours-cook-stuffed-12-different-birds—really-IS-Christmas-dinner.html

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Comments 39

  1. Christmas can be such a stressful time of year which is then masked by lots of food eating and drinking of alcohol.

    So many of us end up doing things and going to places over this holiday period, that if we were honest with ourselves, we really do not want to do. Christmas is a time where we may feel the added pressure to conform and if we don’t, then we may be viewed as the odd one out.

    I like what this blog says here in ‘Forget that we have a body that does not recognise a date in the calendar’. Our body likes to be cared for and listened to and not silenced by excess food and doing things that we don’t truly want to do.

    Why do we go to town making harming our body the ultimate goal at Christmas time and then spend January trying to find a way to be healthy to then give up, trash our body for another 300 + days of the year, to then max it up again the next Christmas and so the cycle continues.

    Would it support us more to live in the same caring way, day in and day out regardless of the date on the calender? Would our whole health and well-being benefit from this consistent approach?

    1. This ‘odd one out’ business that you mention Shevon is a big thing for many. Try telling others that you don’t want to subscribe to the christmas stuff and they think you are weird, miserable or boring but what if what you are saying makes sense.

      What if deep down we can feel that this bopping along and conforming and harming our body even more than the rest of the year because its christmas time, is hurting us in some way but we can’t see a way out. Or we don’t feel strong enough to express how we truly feel because of the fear of being judged, attacked or sticking out as the odd one.

      If our body could communicate to us, have we considered what it would say after all that excess of everything during the happy holiday christmas season.

  2. Well said Simple Living Global – this article packs a punch – a much needed wake up call of this annual occurence. The points you make offer a pause – e.g. “Make out we are interested in the homeless and those who have less.” They are great questions to take stock of what is going on, what is the intention behind the things that are done at this time of year, and, for me I am left with the question – “what does Christmas do for our world?” Given the state of our world today, illness and disease, societal ills, economic factors one might ask why have Christmas in the way it is today? Not only does it not make sense when you lay things out in this article, it leaves me wondering – does it not add to our ills?

    1. Love it Jane – “a much needed wake up call of this annual occurence.”
      So if we dig deep with what you are saying about our ‘intention behind the things that are done at this time of year’ it opens us up to many possibilities. First we need to be honest about our intentions and this will give us a clue of what is going on just beneath the surface. A classic example is giving presents because that is what we do but how many of us go over the top, max out the plastic or just spend because we want to see another person recognise and identify us when they open ‘our’ present? In other words we want to feel good or acknowledged. Something to ponder on here..

      Next – it is time for the world to ask this question you are saying “what does Christmas do for our world?” If we don’t know where to start we could say the world is made up of all of us individuals. So what does Christmas do for us, what does it give us and our family and friends and our community and country?
      As a nation are we better off in any way because of the Christmas business that goes on every year? Who benefits, who actually gains and if they do how much Truth is in that?
      Are we ready to go there as individuals of as a world or is this way too much?

  3. I saw a headline today from Childline that said 1,000 children had phoned Childline on Christmas day due to abuse from alcohol on that day. Does Christmas really make sense when this is the upshot of it?

    1. This is serious stuff and great it has made it as a news headline – thank you for reporting on this Jane.
      Question is what do we as individuals do about this news at Christmas time?
      So we all know the harmfull affects of alcohol and this confirms that something is seriously wrong in our society. Most of us go out of our way to make sure children are given what they want ‘because its Christmas’ yet the raw truth is, this is going on. Children are reaching out to Childline because of abuse from alcohol. The truth is this is not really the figure as there are many who we will never know about suffering.
      What about ALL the kids who will not ever dare phone Childline?
      Where is their voice and how on earth can we reach them?
      What about all those who just accept and think this is normal as they grew up with abuse?
      Why is this not all over social media and getting the hits that we need to make the public wake up and at least start discussions so things do not escalate or get brushed under the carpet so to speak?
      Why are we quick to jump on the bandwagon with all due respect for a child dying of terminal cancer who receives over a quarter million cards and gifts but do nothing to speak up on behalf of these children and others with equal suffering?
      Do we champion, get behind a ra ra campaign and ‘do our bit’ where it suits us?
      In other words where we are not challenged or asked to be responsible?
      Something here for us to consider.

      1. Yes Simple Living Global – ‘what about all the kids who will not ever dare phone Childline? Where is their voice? and the questions you pose above are for us to consider deeply. With most stats, and headlines we only touch the surface of the issue. We know the media only report ‘newsworthy’ things, and dont report the all, and that stats, and research reports can be skewed or only a tiny pocket of the bigger picture. Id love to call a meeting for instance of all Children on the planet and ask them how they see the world through their eyes… candidly and honestly as they would.

      2. So many important questions raised here.
        If we take the courage to ask, as Simple Living Global does here, why we pour so much care towards children dying of cancer, while there are so many children dealing with abuse due to alcohol who are totally un-supported then we start to feel how irresponsible we have all been in going along with the acceptance of alcohol as a ‘normal’ part of life…

        What I feel is that anything we have been using to dull our own hurts and find comfort is off limits to the honesty factor… so its worth asking “what do I go-along-with, use or do to check out, ‘be normal & accepted”, find comfort or dull my pain? …and is it sustainable or really working for us all and is it working for the children of the world?”.

        1. I’m with you Jo. There is a lot we don’t want to look at. I noticed this year the usual charity pleas on TV to help those in need in other countries. They sure do need help. But 2 things came up for me:

          (1) Why are the TV pleas designed to maximise the pull on the heartstrings of emotion? Would it not be enough to lay out the facts without the violins playing? Would we not respond as well without the guilt of knowing there are people suffering while we indulge at Xmas? Or would we feel less good about ourselves after if there were no emotional highs/lows?

          (2) Why aren’t we seeing adverts about our biggest killers and the evil in our own homes: smoking, alcohol and other drugs, obesity, abuse? Do we not want to go there? Would it be too uncomfortable? Would we switch off the TV? Is it easier to look out before we look in?

          I love your questions, Jo: what do I go along with to appear ‘normal’ and what do I use to stay in comfort? They work on a societal as well an individual level. And what is society if it is not a construct of all our individual choices?

  4. So true Shevon. When I told people this year that we were using the day off to clear out our loft, it was met with confusion and dismissiveness. ‘What about the children?’ was a stock response. What about them, I say.

    Interesting what is said about doing things because we feel we should, without reflecting on what we actually want or what is right for us. I recognise I have bought into the ‘it’s a time for friends and family’ thing and the energy of it is strong. We’re breaking through, but there is more to go.

    Maybe being the odd one out is actually something to be celebrated. It didn’t bother Pythagoras when he proposed the earth to be be spherical. Maybe we should see odd ones out more as trail blazing and appreciate them and ourselves for it.

    1. Good point Jennifer because as it turns out Pythagoras was correct and the world is spherical not flat as was previously believed. Therefore being the odd one’s out, for example, by not following the crowd and doing what the masses are doing, because we are being honest about what feels true for us, could actually be paving the way for the future. Rather than judging what we see as weird or boring, we could actually appreciate and learn from these ‘odd one’s out.’

      1. Thank you Jenifer and Shevon for your contribution here. Well the author wrote this blog on Christmas day morning and had no agenda of how it would turn out or what would be said. All that was needed was to make sure it was another day – same same ‘business as usual’ as they say.
        Changing or altering our internal state because of a date in the calendar is saying something. It is like we give ourself this invisible licence, permission so to speak, to let loose and not get concerned if we lose the plot.
        We forget all about that word RESPONSIBILITY and then wonder why we feel this and that post Christmas.
        Could it be that the odd ones are actually presenting another way?
        Could it be possible that these odd ones are living the future now?
        Possible?

        1. On the thread of ‘the odd ones’ in society who may just be presenting something valuable:

          I want to say that it is not about being harsh or judging of societal standards, it IS about looking at what we like to ‘think’ is ‘good’ that may not, in truth, be so ‘good’; it is about feeling just under the pretty surface for what is really going on in anything that does not leave us feeling the wonder-fullness of who we are…

          We have a world society deeply enmeshed in issues and problems; this equates to a huge amount of suffering in people all around the Earth.

          It seems to me that ‘the odd ones’ who don’t partake of the cocktail at the party, who don’t eat all the same foods as the crowd and who are willing to speak up about uncomfortable topics may just be showing us that it is:

          In our power to get honest enough to feel which things we do that are not actually working to bring or cultivate real connection in a family or in a lonely world.

          In our power to bring more true care to a quite careless world.

          In our power not to go along with things that feel wrong, disadvantage or harm others or make us sick.

          In our power to bring meaning into a world that has lost so much of its true meaning from words to religion to holidays.

          In our power to change the tide of alcohol associated abuse across the globe.

          …So a great big thank you to all the ‘ugly ducklings’ out there who are bringing out the magic of who we all truly are for a world that does not always accept you but does, in my opinion, need you.

  5. Many people know that something doesn’t make sense about Christmas. Something else that caught my eye in the news today was that it costs a family on average £800 for Christmas which includes money being spent on food and drink, as well as cards and decorations. And that nearly a quarter of people in the UK feel under pressure to spend more than they can afford. Christmas feels like one big ‘runaway train’ that even though we can see it and feel it – we are not dealing with it, or making a choice to say ‘no’ so the train keeps on running. Conversations like this bring back the reality to the situation. I would love to do a survey (and maybe somebody already has) of how people felt – before, during and after Christmas.

    1. In a world society so loaded with issues, imbalances and hardship it just makes sense to take a look into or at least consider the different choices being made by individuals who are ‘not playing ball’ with the norms that keep it all so unhappily rolling around and around…

      I know that since I began listening to my body more and making choices based on what I feel is loving and true instead of constantly trying to ‘do the right thing’, make others happy or keep up a level of comfort (not rock to boat) my life has made a lot more sense to me. With this more truthful way of living I am more steady and have a sense of fulfillment I never felt before; so for me, Christmas does not even come close to offering what I have now, every day.

    2. Thank you again for your contribution here Jane Keep. What is interesting is 25% of the UK population are feeling ‘under pressure to spend more than they can afford’ at Christmas. So what is this all about?
      Who is putting the pressure on?
      WHY are we allowing ourselves as intelligent adults to be under pressure?
      WHY are we choosing this pressure year in and year out?
      WHY are we accepting the stress of debt every christmas and putting up with it.
      Is this about ‘keeping up with the jones’ as they say?
      In other words you can’t let others know you don’t want to overspend as that would make you stick out and be talked about.
      What anxiety would that bring to those who are paying out and then to know it is on cards, decorations, food and drink and that in itself says a lot.
      What happens to our decorations?
      Do we throw them out as they are not fashionable the next year or go with our decor or colour scheme?
      Have we lost the plot?
      Are we really pleasing the kids with our fancy decorations?
      Do our guests going ‘wow wow’ make it worth spending all that money we don’t have?
      Does anyone actually care what decorations we have or not have?
      How long does the buzz of the festive decorations last – really?
      Are we just trying harder each year to top the year before as thats what others do?
      WHY are we subscribing to something that is not responsible?
      How long can we keep up this irresponsible way of living?

  6. When I was little Christmas was very simple; sometimes there was no money at all for ‘shopping’ beyond basic essentials so mom and dad made us special things out of wood. Later there was a bit more money but what I felt was that the more presents we got the less love I felt in them and in the whole day, like it was more about ‘making up for something more important that they felt was missing’…

    When I observe other families and friends ‘doing Christmas’ I usually feel some of this ‘guilt giving’ as well as the use of Christmas as an ‘escape’ from the rest of the year.
    In this I feel very little true connection, meaning or care.

    What I see and feel now is a simple, though socially challenging, answer to all of this.
    If we address our very human issue of feeling disconnected or feeling hurt from the lack of quality in our connection with our selves and one another than we will not need to exist on the empty trappings (and financial complications) of consumerism or other solutions which do not address the underlying cause of our un-rest.

  7. Thank you for your comment Jo and what sticks out is “if we address our very human issue of feeling disconnected..”
    Talking from lived experience, this lack of connection creates a gap, a void within us and instead of finding a true way to connect to our inner most we seek outer stuff to fill the void and of course it simply does not cut it. No matter what you give it, feed it or offer it nothing is ever enough and it feels like a bottomless pit. Our focus remains on the outer and the expense of the inner being. Here lies a clue why things are not so great on our planet.

    1. I agree Jo and Simple Living Global. When we feel empty, void of ourselves, when we dont take care of ourselves, our body, and honour and cherish ourselves, we are easily led into the distractions and busyness of so called ‘life’ as they fill up our time, leave us no head space, and they seemingly and momentarily at best fill up the void we feel inside. I know when I was younger I rushed around from one thing to the next, jumped both feet into every celebration, party, Christmas etc and did it all to the max, I worked hard, studied hard, and my life was a series of tasks and actions that were endless – leaving no space for me to breath, sit, rest, sleep or take stock. I did this on purpose – so as to avoid stopping and feeling, as when I did, and in the few moments I paused I felt anxious, panic, empty, sad, overwhelmed, and exhausted. It felt then easier to stay on the ‘merry-go-round’ of a busy life rather than find a rhythm of my own, one where as I stopped the ‘runaway train’ way of life I was living I would need to take account of the deeper rooted hurts and issues I was facing. Christmas is one of those times that offers a huge distraction, false ‘joy’, and ‘time out’ – yet while this is going on, look deep into our eyes, the underlying panic, tiredness, emptiness, exhaustion is there just beneath the surface.

      1. Great comment Jane about how we choose to fill up our time and talking from your own lived experience. When we write from real life it holds value as others feel it. You make sense when you say if you did stop, the ugly stuff would come up so to avoid that you keep going in busy busy mode.
        So it is a choice in every moment but it seems that when we make ugly choices then it almost sets us up to do the same again and off we go on this momentum, what you call the ‘runaway train’ and at no point do we stop unless something major happens.
        This Christmas distraction stuff is getting worse as we the consumer demand more and more and the suppliers provide so the gap to basic real life, grounded earthy every day life is not valued or even considered as it offers no “entertainment factor” for our mind.
        Could it be possible that the mind wants fantasy dream like moments as it feels light and this helps to not feel the denseness that is felt in our body?

  8. The good deeds we do in the name of benevolence.
    Is this doing good for us in anyway? In other words do we do it because it makes us feel better or we get some form of recognition, identification from doing the charitable thing every year?

    So our conscience at Christmas time in particular says ‘lets rally round and do our bit’ but what about the rest of the year?
    Are the elders in our community enjoying retirement by offering wisdom to our youth consistently?
    Are we committed to being open and honest with our neighbours?
    Are we bothering to check in and just connect with others in our community?
    Are we interested in having a meaningful conversation on the bus or train during our daily commute?
    Are we concerned about the high suicide rates and no one has the answers?
    Are we ‘in the know’ about the drug world?
    Are we tuned in to the neighbours who have domestic violence as their ‘normal’?
    Are we aware of what is happening on the streets?
    Are we turning a blind eye most of the time because it suits us?
    Are we comfortable not knowing all this ‘negative news’ as we are ok?
    Are the above questions what true good is really about?

  9. Thank you for sharing this comment Jane Keep as it is very serious.

    Most of the time we don’t see or want to see the repercussions of any harmful behaviour. Christmas has become a time where we give ourselves permission to get drunker than drunk and behave in the most reckless ways, but as your comment confirms our children are being affected and they know that it’s abuse otherwise they would not be calling Childline.

    What then happens to those children, year after year as they grow into adults?

    How are they further affected by this?

    Do they then continue the cycle?

    The harms of alcohol are now well reported in the press including the extortionate amount alcohol use is costing health services.

    Many measures are being proposed as a way to deter people from drinking lots of alcohol including price increases, but to be honest I know that a price increase in anything has never stopped me from doing something harmful like when I used to smoke cigarettes. Until we understand why we’re doing something and feel the harming effects whatever our choice of drug will be whether it’s alcohol, TV, Sport, chocolate, illicit substances, etc we’ll keep finding a way to have it.

    1. Good point Shevon about how we give ourselves ‘permission’ to have crazy behaviour at Christmas like getting even more drunk and reckless as you say.
      Price reductions and all the other campaigns to stop the culture of drinking alcohol is not working and our blog on this website – the real truth about Alcohol confirms this. As you say Shevon, we need to understand WHY we are doing something that harms us. This could be chocolate, porn, gambling, social media, shopping or any drug of our choice.
      We also need to ask what is going on in our life that makes us want to do things that harm our precious body.

  10. It took 50 Christmases for me to realize I could do something different at Christmas and it would be ok.
    So many choices I have made in my life were made around doing the right thing. If I had truly checked in with myself and trusted what I felt I would have done many things differently in my life.
    Looking back I understand that I was not taking real responsibility for my choices. It was easy to just do what everybody else was doing rather then honoring myself and what I felt.
    I am stopping and making more conscious choices now and not only will that change my life, it will make a difference in the world because my choices affect everything.

    1. A very valuable and wise comment Ken Elmer. Thank You.
      Doing the right thing – how many of us could say ‘ditto’ here?
      On reflection we could have done things differently. How many of us could agree?
      It is easy do do what everybody else was doing.
      WHY do we go for the ‘easy’ option most of the time?
      WHY do we not want to be different and honour what we truly feel?
      WHY are we so afraid and who are we afraid of?

      Our choices will make a difference in the world because Our choices affect everything.
      That sentence alone speaks volumes.

  11. As a child I never understood the concept of Christmas. It always felt chaotic and stressful. At the age of 19 I decided not to get caught up with this concept and treat it is a normal day. 27 years later I still get mocked for “not getting into the spirit”as been quoted. It appears to me that people use this day to over eat and drink then come the new year they moan about how crap they feel and look for the latest diet. If the world put half as much effort into helping humanity rather than Christmas Day imagine what that would look like!

  12. Another observation about Christmas – I have been walking around my local neighbourhood these last few days and on street corners there are now large piles of Christmas Trees ready to be collected by the local council. Its great that the local council provide this service, and that people are taking their trees to the collection point. However, it strikes me as a waste of resource in the end – so we have Christmas coming, we go and shop for a tree to put in our house for two weeks (or so), then we take it out and put it on the street corner for it to be disposed of. I did wonder how much this costs? All for one day? One thing I did see was that Kew Gardens in London asked for Christmas Trees to be taken to their gate on a certain date – so that they could reuse the trees as mulch for the gardens.

  13. Interesting observation here Jane Keep about Christmas trees and the bigger picture.
    What makes no sense is we are banging on about the resources on our precious planet and yet it seems to be when it suits us. We are not consistent in our campaigns and government plans about saving the planet. WHY?
    Why do we champion and get behind a project but only to a point?
    Why do we want change but only where it suits us and our lifestyle?
    WHY do we have different sets of rules at different times?
    How many of us bother to even think what happens to that tree once the baubles and lights are off?
    What happens to last years tinsel and lights?
    How many of us are dumping all our unwanted gifts in the loft, garage, cupboards and at the goodwill charity shops?
    How many of us are finding the christmas stuff getting more and more crazy every year?
    WHY are we all just subscribing because the back lash is simply not worth it?

  14. I grew up with Christmas being a celebrated event with family. I didn’t understand why we even celebrated it, but the family got caught in the hype of it all and I went along with it. Over the years I observed it change it no longer was about family, it was more about how we can out do each other, who got the best presents, who had the biggest turkey and so forth.

    Who is really responsible for making this period a mad frenzy celebratory event?

    I too observed the shops going silly, media hyping the event, supermarkets overstocked with food and the alcohol consumption increase. Its as if a spell is being casted upon us all and then we wake up after gluttony, overspent, probably broke and gloomy as we were carried away with this ‘season of being jolly!’

    Recently I observed a family member crazy with buying presents for her family, no doubt thousands of dollars were spent for this one day.

    I’ve been observing people at work buy me Christmas presents for the sake of buying presents with no thought nor consideration of what I loved. When I asked them to not buy me presents, they finally realised the truth behind my reasons, I am then called ‘hard to buy for’ or ‘fussy’, yet I hadn’t asked for anything or expected anything from them.

    Is it necessary? Could the love, gratitude and appreciation of each other not be felt with out presents, spending spree or indulgence of alcohol and food – all year round? Are we not enough?

  15. What is it about this time of year that sends most of us into frantic mode?

    We spend hours stressing over what to buy for our families and friends.
    We buy things for people we hardly know or don’t even like.
    We feel obliged to send cards to people we haven’t seen for years just because they send us a card.
    We spend a fortune on food and drink for one day on family we probably don’t see for a year or don’t want to see because it brings up too much of our past hurts.
    We go into £100’s or £1,000’s of debt for one day and then spend the whole of next year paying it back only to start the cycle all over again next Christmas.

    There is so much about this day that makes no sense at all – so why do we play along with it?

    Is it because we don’t want to stand out?
    Is it because we want to be accepted by society?
    Is it because we actually need the attention ourselves?
    Is it because we need the indulgence in the food and alcohol?
    Is it because we feel we deserve a break from our daily lives?
    Is it because it is the only accepted time of year when we can indulge and not be criticised?

    The way Christmas is celebrated these days is so far removed from its original intent with the excesses of this period being made more important.

    Isn’t it time to get real and honest about our reasons for ‘celebrating’ this time of year?

  16. Today I caught the tail end of a news story of the rise in dogs being smuggled into the UK for Christmas.

    What is it about Christmas that the world goes into a frenzy and into excesses of everything?

    Christmas seems to be a time where our lack of morals and irresponsibility is hightened and further exposed in ALL areas of life. Something surely is not right here.

    I for one won’t be partaking in the frenzy as I see no point. The world is in a mess with people struggling just to get through daily life. I choose to spend the Christmas period focused on what I know is needed for humanity, that can raise our awareness of what is really going on in the world rather than indulge in wasteful behaviour that we then spends months trying to clean up.

    A total waste of time.

  17. I was talking to a woman who sings in a Nursing Home and she said she done a Christmas song last weekend and it did not go down well with the elderly. We got talking about this and read that xmas music does affect our mental health.
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/christmas-music-can-harm-mental-health-cause-stress-psychologist-finds/

    What if it reminds these people of past bad memories?
    What if it feels like a band aid of being happy when deep down they are very unhappy?
    What if the same tunes repeated year in and year out get boring?
    What if the words are empty and hold no purpose of meaning?
    What if the sound is a vibration that they no longer want to be a part of?

    What if people are deeply miserable and a happy jolly festive song is like a red rag?
    What if it brings on stress as the music is a reminder – its getting to the end of the year?
    What if the wishing away in all the lyrics is not making any difference in real life?

    What if music does have a profound affect on our body and that we are simply not aware of this because we don’t want to?

    What if these elderly in our community are giving us an insight into something that may be worth exploring further?

  18. Christmas 2017 –

    We now have apps to help us choose Christmas trees.

    So that we don’t have to leave the comfort of our own home and deal with the trauma of getting a Christmas tree and lugging it home, there are companies where Christmas trees can be bought via an app. Customers can then have them home delivered.

    The niche is in the fact that buyers can scan a room in their home to identify the best spot for the tree. The screen can then be pinched to adjust the size of the tree so that the buyer gets the correct one.

    I remember the many years of putting up Christmas trees when I was growing up and the stress my Mum was in when the old fake tree had to be thrown out and ‘real’ trees were bought and the mess afterwards.

    I do wonder what all of this fuss is about now regarding Christmas trees and why we need them.

    Where has this desire for Christmas trees come from and what use is it to have this tree in our homes for a few weeks every year?

    Does it serve any purpose?

  19. At the supermarket checkout there are these baubles in pearly colour that look very fancy.

    One was a bubble bath with Prosecco – the latest buzz word wine that seems to be in anything and everything. This was a cream pearl colour and the green pearly colour was Gin and Tonic. My first thought was – what next?

    The long list of chemicals on the back put me off and I wonder what is the feeling or whatever we are supposed to get by using this in our bath. Forget the skin and what it wants, let’s just get into the Christmas spirit.

    Once upon a time, I would be caught up in all this, but now I just look at it as the latest one minute wonder until the next thing they think about for us, the public who keep demanding more and more to keep us entertained, albeit short term.

    Upside down Christmas trees and an app to buy a Christmas tree were two things I was talking about at the dinner table this weekend with friends. One person said WHY as it made no sense to them.

    I can feel no purpose and I can feel no benefit whatsoever.

    Holding steady in all this Christmas frenzy week is well worth it as business as usual works. Done the steady stuff now for a decade and I don’t feel like I am missing out at all.

  20. Yesterday (23rd December 2017), I popped into one of my local grocery stores around lunch time and I was shocked at the queues of people, trolleys and baskets everywhere.

    What happens at Christmas that we go into this frenzy and think that we have to buy up the whole shop of food and pack up our cupboards with food for the rest of the year?

    We seem to forget that the shops are only closed for one day.

    Today I was in a cafe with family and we spoke with someone who works there and she was sharing that she used to freeze her leftover Turkey from Christmas and 6 months later it would still be there!

    It just shows that we buy in such excess at Christmas time and why?

    I used to do the same, so I can most definitely relate.

    I have to say now that I am much more content with myself and am not caught up Christmas, I don’t feel that I am missing out at all. I am not going into debt over it, I don’t miss the present buying and giving and I choose to spend the day wisely with family – cleaning.

  21. I was struck yesterday by the waste around Christmas.

    In a big Paris department store, there was the most enormous floating ‘candy’ Christmas tree in the central atrium with huge candy balloons floating up and down beside it. It was a massive spectacle and people were crowding in to see it on all floors.

    Outside there were ornate Christmas lights strung across all the streets.

    People were carrying bag after bag after bag and everything is packaged.

    I am wondering what all this decoration and lighting costs and how much of it is really needed.

    I am wondering what happens to them all afterwards – do they go in the bin or get reused or recycled?

    I am wondering, too, how many of the gifts given are needed and if we could calculate how much gets wasted.

    With all the issues in the world right now, including off the chart issues around debt and waste management for the environment, is it time for a review of our spending and waste levels around Christmas time? And to monitor how we are doing year on year.

  22. In the news today (3rd January 2018) is an article that says ‘Divorce day is on its way after Christmas tensions come to a head’ – just another health check as to the value of the way we celebrate Christmas – to the point that we end up with more unrest and relationship issues than before? (http://metro.co.uk/2018/01/03/divorce-day-just-around-corner-festive-break-ups-spike-7199353/)

    Also in the news is how this can be the season of ill will where there are more disputes over wills after Christmas.

    Whilst relationship issues don’t just arrive at Christmas, as Christmas can be the straw that broke the camel’s back, it is a reflection on the way we have been living in the run up to Christmas, as well as a reflection as to how we are during the Christmas period.

    1. Today is officially Divorce Day (8th January) in UK – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42598969 – not only is it based on couples feeling disillusioned about their relationships, but, ‘37%’ of couples say it is financial pressures, and ‘relationships which are already showing cracks are likely to buckle under the added pressure and expense that Christmas brings”.

      Whilst relationships as it says may already be under pressure – why is it that we agree to do things e.g. get into financial difficulties, all for a so called ‘special’ time of year e.g. Christmas. Surely the priority is to stay steady, and to feel the truth of everything that is going on around us, and see whether it is true for us – e.g. if something like Christmas puts that much strain on us surely there is a question to be asked as to what is going on? and why is it we subscribe to it – knowing it will put us under pressure?

  23. Thank you for this outstanding blog.

    At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus and many people see Christmas as an opportunity for excess and overindulgence. This just does not make sense.

    Jesus, and the way he lived, can serve as an incredible inspiration to us.

    I have just asked myself the question, “What would Jesus do on Christmas Day?”

    The answer that comes to me is, “It’s just another day” .

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