I know I have touched on this subject many times before but Isabella’s comment on Day 290 triggered a thought in my head that I wanted to share with you. This idea is related to Christmas but can easily apply to any other of the holiday season’s celebrations such as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa etc. Keep in mind back when I was a child in the sixties and seventies, Christmas and birthdays were the only times we received novelty items like toys, books and pretty bows for your hair. Not all year round like the kids of today.
Do you remember as a child waiting with baited breath for Christmas to arrive? The excitement of decorating the tree and the anticipation once all the gifts began appearing underneath it. For an Australian child there was the added joy of being on Summer vacation for seven weeks, trips to the beach and visits with friends and relatives. Take a moment to recollect the excitement of your particular holiday season as a child.
At some point for me the novelty wore off. Once I was at an age where I started to earn a real wage, and could afford to buy things I wanted, the level of anticipation started to wane. Of course there was still an element of excitement about what was lying under the tree but once received the novelty wore off fairly quickly. Sure I still enjoyed getting together with friends and family, sitting down sharing a meal together but that wasn’t unique to Christmas, it happened at other times during the year.
I must have been conscious of the change way back then because I remember wondering once whether the feeling would come back when I had children of my own. How would their excitement reinvigorate in me the thrill of the occasion? I have to confess for me it didn’t, and that was when the pressure started to mount. Gift giving had become a nightmare because now society seemed to be dictating the rules. A budget had to be drawn up and the pressure of buying the latest and greatest novelty item weighed down on a parent like a ton of bricks.
When did gift giving turn into this, and when did having something new loose it’s enduring excitement? For me I would say it was when I could afford to buy things for myself without having to save for weeks on end for that to be possible. When I learned to treat myself to things willy nilly whether I needed them or not. When children playing together meant Nintendo and Fisher Price instead of sticks and string and climbing trees. When I think of my childhood and the fun we had while the few toys we did own sat in the house until a rainy day I wonder what happened…
Now that I am more conscious of what I bring into my home and the effects that making and disposing of those items may have on the environment I choose more wisely. I have a renewed appreciation of the things I do own and their usefulness to my day to day living. I have found new joy in knowing that whatever I do buy will realise it’s worth because careful thought has gone into its purchase. And Christmas is once again becoming a simple celebration to be enjoyed.
ITEM 292 OF 365 LESS THINGS
A few more books for the donation box.
5 Things I am grateful for today
- Mamma’s beef stew – One of those old recipes that endures through the years.
- Nature in action – A friend has a family of butcher birds nesting in a tree in her back yard.
- A tidy garage – I spotted a big item and its contents that I think we could declutter while I was in there sweeping.
- Another beautiful Spring day – The sun was shining the birds were singing and the flowers were blooming – life is good.
- Google – I must use it at least five times a day.