Christmas Celebrations: A Quick Rethink or Not

It’s that time of the year again to jingle the bell all the way. Yes, the magical season of Christmas. Not a hard tell, you may say, especially as the harmattan now leaves us covered to the teeth with every passing morning. But while it’s not yet the savior’s day, perhaps now is best to reflect on our typical Christmas celebrations.

When I think about Christmas, I often do so in the light of the simpler times. The reason is straightforward. No other way is more comforting, especially with how things have presently turned out. These were periods when we were young and wore our innocence on our sleeves. We had no worries but revered the pristine state of the season, admired Christmas decor, reconnected with family, and exploded with joy at our longed-for presents if we got any.

On the other hand, today, you could say many of us have attained adulthood, developed our individualistic beliefs, and are now saddled with several obligations. As kids, all we did was receive and admire others’ benevolence. We scarcely poured outward from our purses even though we barely had any. And if there was anything I remember frowning at, perhaps the long hours it always took making several dishes almost at once. Well, not that it sucked helping out in the kitchen. It’s just crazy spending that long preparing meals you’ll consume in minutes.

The holidays, supposedly one of the most relaxing periods of the year, aren’t what they’re presumed to be anymore. What an irony! Now, not only is the meal prep on Christmas morning stressful, but a host of other prelude activities are equivalently energy-sapping. Talk about miscellaneous shopping and long drives to visit several distant relatives and pals. Meanwhile, for some, it’s the worry about their travel schedules. Or the dilemma of choosing the right outfit from the bespoke clothing store.

Christmas celebrations have not only become more draining. They are also cost-demanding and needlessly bothersome. We consider reaching out to family and friends alike in gift and kindness. We become keen on matching a similar glow as our peers. Hence, we go all out to get what we want regardless of whether or not we have the wherewithal. In so doing, we’ve unconsciously tilted the purpose of celebrating towards materialism. 

Sometimes and quite admirably, we don’t want to fulfill the obligation of blessing others alone. We also want to ensure that the recipient is satisfied with whatever we’re getting them. Otherwise, we could risk setting off some family disputes and bickering between our cliques that could last year-long.

On second thought, you may argue gifting is one of the purposes of the festive season. More so, you may say the recipient’s satisfaction is the main objective of gifting. However, when scenarios that spark feuds occur, they tire us out easily and can be frustrating. 

Meanwhile, Christmas is often when we find things at the priceiest they can get. If you’re so excited about the fancy jacket your aunt bought you, wait until you discover the price. Then you wish she had wired you the money instead since you’ll most likely get the same item for a quarter of that cost on a random day. The point isn’t to undermine your aunt’s sincere effort and commitment to brightening your day. However, it’s rather that gifts shouldn’t be what we look forward to alone during Christmases. Not to talk of fueling disputes as a result.

If there is anything to note today, it’s that Christmas has become like any other secular holiday. Is that something concerning? Maybe. Don’t get me wrong, there is no crime in celebrating with and gifting loved ones. In fact, we should do so more often. However, we should also take a moment to enjoy the season and understand the subtle details of the earmarked day. Not constrained by any routines or obligations, we should have the liberty to celebrate Christmas in our little ways. Irrespective of the gifts or sumptuous meals believed to characterize the festive period.

In essence, we should revert from the materialistic view of celebrating Christmases. Perhaps that way, we can clamp down on the holiday stress and regrettable spending.

Happy Holidays!

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