The Spirit of Christmas


I hear you say, but hear me out.  I’m in a bit of a dither and you may be able to help me.

I need to kick this off by saying that, yes, I am an atheist, but by jingo those Christians know how to create a wonderful holiday.  I’m all for a bit of religion (my daughter is currently dallying in these notions) but it’s not for me.  I tried, honest guv, but my heart wasn’t in it.

However.  I am a M A S S I V E  fan of Christmas. I just love it. Everything.  The tinsel, the lights, the tree, the decorations, the giving and sharing, the eating and most importantly The Family.  It’s such a beautiful day.

I can’t think of a single day in the year where almost every single person is with their family. Whether they love them, like them, find them irritating, slightly dislike them or often hate them, we all share the commonality of spending Christmas day with each other. No mean feat for a lot of people.

However, I’m also a mum and I have a family and there is an awful lot of preparation involved in getting in the “Christmas Spirit”.  As such, I’m a little stretched.  So you can imagine my mood when my sister decided that this year instead of doing lists we were doing “surprise” presents.

I moaned. I complained. I took to Twitter. I moaned some more.  It’s an issue because she designs jewellery, so I can’t buy her any.  She has always been far more into fashion than I have so I wouldn’t dare purchase her a piece of clothing. She has much more money than me so I can’t imagine she wants for much.  Arghhhhh. I was so annoyed.  Why couldn’t she just give me a bloody list.

And therein lies the problem, dear readers.  I wanted the easy way out. The quick fix. The non thinking option.  I didn’t want to think too hard about buying something or giving it too much thought, because it was an inconvenience.  Now, admittedly I have bought her something that she doesn’t really need, but by goodness I put a lot of thought into it.  I’ve also bought her a jewellery travel wrap, something I’m sure she has, but this one is gorgeous and she has a lot of jewellery.decoration

It really occurred made me realise that I often go through the motions when it comes to Christmas and presents and I forget that moment when you are thinking of your loved ones whilst hovering over a shelf of goods in Debenhams and you imagine their reaction.

The same goes with the writing of Christmas cards.  I may have reduced my list of recipients as the cost of stamps have gone up, but every one of those cards took time to write, I have put a different message in each one. Some I’ve written updates in.  I ranted about the lack of Christmas cards writing last year here, but I donated to charity this year AND wrote some cards out.   They remind me of what it is all about, I realised. Each and every card that I have to take the time to fill in, gives me an opportunity to reflect on the person it’s for and what they mean to me, when I saw them last, how I feel about them.

So I think I learnt a big lesson this year. I think I may have managed to retrieve My Spirit of Christmas through a few lessons learnt.

Do you still have The Spirit of Christmas?  What does Christmas mean to you?

5 thoughts on “The Spirit of Christmas

  1. Notmyyearoff

    I’m not a Christian but I love Christmas and all the festivities. It doesn’t mean anything religious to me really but I love the winding down for the year, the massive amounts of Christmas telly and food and twinkly ott lights on people’s houses. I used to be crazy about Xmas cards but now not so much :)

  2. Allison

    I’m not a fan of lists at all as I like to choose things that I think the person would like. My brother married a list fiend, and drives me bonkers from Nov 1st asking for one!! The issue is resolved now as during a bad time in their marriage (they’re ok now!) she refused to buy presents for his side of the family, so that’s when he suggested we stop buying for each other. I was disappointed as there’s only the 2 of us, but to be honest looking back it was clear that I chose a gift, and they chose something to wrap with a gift receipt enclosed – which was almost always needed so maybe that’s a good thing! For children it’s a bit different and I’m happy to provide guidance – no big lumps of pink plastic thank you!! – and it’s worse in our house as the 6 year old turns 7 on Christmas Eve so that’s another list needed!! However – I love Christmas completely and will shed a tear on Jan 6th when the baubles get put away, and the tree chopped up for kindling and we wait another 11 months before we can start again!!

  3. suzanne3childrenandit

    I really love this post. Every year when the recipient opens one of my presents, I think to myself: “hmm, should have put more thought into that one”. And this year (yes, it is only 350 days away!) I am determined to do that. I love Christmas too but often I let the stress get in the way of enjoying these small things which are often huge to someone else.

    1. Bella Post author

      You are right, Suzanne. The irony was that the gift from my sister was a bit odd. I got a 5 yr diary (which I love), a mobile phone recovery kit (in case it gets wet!!) and 2 books I’ve already read. Strange. All the same, I’m glad I put in the effort.


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