Christmas evokes different feelings and emotions among people of all ages and temperaments. From bitterness to childish excitement, most of us have experienced the full range of emotions that pre-Christmas, post-Christmas and Christmas itself brings about. It’s a busy, emotional time, and it can be a lot like riding a rollercoaster as you decorate, buy presents, order a Christmas hamper, rush to get Christmas dinner ready, and contend with the messy aftermath.
As Christmas approaches, however, it is worth reflecting on the many kinds of Christmases that exist for different people. You will find that your enjoyment of the holiday is directly linked to your mindset – whether you’re an optimistic or pessimistic person – as well as your age and situation.
Many adults, for example, complain about the blatantly commercial aspects of Christmas. These complaints range from shops promoting Christmas stuff too early, to Christmas lights and decorations getting out of hand, to the media putting pressure on people to spend too much money on Christmas presents. The season that is all about being with your loved ones has gotten too commercial and values the gift-giving aspect too highly, some say. Others focus on the stress of organising Christmas, buying presents, having the money to pay for presents and the like. The trick here is not to let these feelings put a dampener on your Christmas experience, though some people invariably let the stress and negative aspects of Christmas bother them too much.
On the other end of the enjoyment spectrum, you have the young children who simply can’t wait and impatiently count the days to Christmas. Their little faces light up with joy when they think of Santa Claus, his sled and reindeer travelling around the world to deliver presents to good little children everywhere. Christmas is truly a magical time for children.
Most adults, in turn, look forward to the food, drink and social aspects of Christmas, as well as making Christmas fun for children. Christmas food and drink take centre stage, as people prepare or order hampers to make the event all the more special and inviting. The event is about family and spending quality time together, doing something that most people enjoy – eating good food, drinking fine spirits, making good conversation, and tinkling glasses.
Is all the stress and fuss of Christmas worth it? Is Christmas an ultimately enjoyable time for you? These are questions worth asking yourself every year. How else will you know whether or not you are keeping the spirit alive?