Thursday, December 20, 2012

2012 Christmas Column

The magical day of Christmas is almost upon us for another year and so long as tomorrow’s forecast Mayan apocalypse doesn’t eventuate many of us will be mingling with family and/or friends next Tuesday. Just to be on the safe side, the boys and I will be doing our “Christmas Lights Tour of Barham and Koondrook” tonight.

At the risk of sounding like the Grinch who stole Christmas, with each passing year I seem to be looking forward to Christmas less and less. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas lights, mince pies, ham and eggs, excited children, my mother’s traditional Christmas dinner with all the family and mixing a glass of Pimms No.1 Cup around 10am on Christmas morning… it’s the obligatory retail shopping lead-up to Christmas that gets me down.

Christmas for me now feels less and less about love and more and more about spending money on nonessential items that will be discarded or broken before the Christmas decorations are dismantled. I hate that.

Shopping is not one of my favourite pastimes; it causes me a considerable amount of stress. The reason behind this stress is decision making (another little thing I’m not particularly fond of) and shopping is non-stop decision making. Not only do we have to decide what we want, we have to decide on all the specifications that go with what we want e.g.: brand, colour, style, size, cost etc… and then when it’s gift shopping, we wonder if the recipient of our gifts will even like or appreciate them. Shopping is exhausting, not because you might spend hours walking around the streets or those huge shopping centres if you’re in the city but because of all that deciding you have to do.

The retailers have caught on to all this shopping angst and delivered us the “gift card” so we, the gift buyers still spend money at their shops without having to make any major decisions. Clever, very clever…

Back in the good old days when choices were limited and gifts only arrived twice a year on Christmas morning and birthdays, I imagine the lead-up to Christmas was far less stressful and a lot more enjoyable. These days we live in a world of hyper-consumerism and instant gratification, to say we are spoilt for choice is an understatement.

Yes, it’s enough to make one just want to book in for a full one hour massage and feel all that tension and stress melt away… did I mention I sell gift vouchers?

Regardless of where you are, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading Behind the Barr in 2012 and wish all of you a very happy and joy-filled Christmas and a new year of magical moments and excellent adventures in 2013.

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