Christmas. I'm a fan. I love choosing gifts for my children and other kids we love who we buy for. I love xmas lights and decorations. I love that you catch up with friends over the season. I love that Luke gets time off and the weather is warm (well, mostly in Melbourne). It is no secret that I love to eat delicious food as well. And I love Santa.
If you are not part of the "hippy-la-la" parenting set it may surprise you to know that Santa is unpopular for a variety of reasons. The fact that xmas is now a commercial buying fest-less about family and Jesus and more about presents. The fact that all things traditional xmas are actually geared for the northern hemisphere-we should be celebrating summer solstice. People forcing screaming babies into the arms of dressed up shopping center employees for the sake of a picture. People not being comfortable with the "lie" of the whole Santa thing. There question is not "what are you doing for Christmas?" but frequently "why are you doing Christmas at all?"
I understand all these reasons and I totally respect and admire families for choosing what they are comfortable with-even if it flies in the face of the mainstream-I imagine it must be pretty suckful to have to explain yourself a million times and get looks like you are the worst parent in the world because you choose not to shower you child with gifts they don't need on a day that personally means nothing to you.
But I'm still a fan.
Admittedly my kids only get a couple of presents each from us and sitting on santa's knee is optional (but definitely suggested). We are choosing a gum tree branch over a snowy pine as a tree and there is much summer themed craft to be done. The naughty and nice rubbish and threats of no presents never get a run here. But I remember that incredible anticipation and excitement leading up to xmas, I remember all the magic about Father Christmas as a young child. I remember huge family gatherings, trips interstate and my Mum's roast lunch with great affection. My family is not religious but xmas has always been a time of family and love and sharing meals and time together-and a little about getting and giving some ace gifts.
So this year as the silly season looms just around the corner I ask you to embrace it. Whether that means enjoying your summer and ignoring people who disagree with your choice not to celebrate or whether it means you go the whole hog without constantly complaining about it-nothing is worse than standing in line at the post office next to someone posting gifts complaining about it, if you hate it you can actually choose to opt out! Try for a bit of charity-even a tiny bit. Buy charity xmas cards, chuck $10 in a salvo's jar or give up some time. If you buy gifts remember that less can be more-think more about what someone will like rather than having to spend big bucks. And think about where the gifts come from-look for fair trade and recycled presents. But most importantly spend time and connect with people you love and who love you. Catch up, make a phone call or use Skype or something.
So I'm wishing you a merry Christmas, happy holidays, happy Hanukkah, summer solstice blessings or just a big ol' HI! thanks for reading my blog.