Missing : One Christmas Spirit

Yesterday I was living my regular, glamorous life aka folding the washing. I had the television on because it was Ellen’s Christmas Special where she gives away a fuck tonne of things to a thousand squealing woman. It went a bit like this….

Ellen : “Ear-o-Wax care about your hearing health and they know, at Christmas time, you tend to listen more than normal. People yelling at you in car parks. Christmas Carollers at your door. Family fisticuffs and verbal abuse over the turkey. Your poor ears can take a pounding! So, EVERYONE GETS A BOX OF ORGANIC COTTON EAR BUDS!!!”

Audience : Screams and cries. Grabs complete strangers in disbelief. Falls to their knees and gives thanks to Jesus.

It was a fascinating example of human behaviour. Of course it made a little more sense when they started giving out flat screen TVs, but it was entertaining viewing all the same.

But it was the ads played in between the hysteria that interested me. All the companies advertising were insisting that we needed to “order now for guaranteed delivery for Christmas!”. There was a sense of complete urgency that our Christmas Day was going to be a great failure and a great embarrassment if we didn’t have that new lounge suite in situ, or a new blow up mattress that can withstand the weight of a four wheel drive vehicle.

Lucy Van Pelt said it best.

“Look, Charlie, let’s face it,” she barked in “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” “We all know that Christmas is a big commercial racket. It’s run by a big eastern syndicate, you know.”

In Australia, we spend ten billion dollars on Christmas gifts. Thats just the gifts. That is not the food, or booze or tinsel and shit. For us Mums, Christmas can be a great time of stress, as you rush around madly pushing trolleys in K-Mart buying fake snow so that you can create memories for your kids and so your in-laws can praise your domestic capableness. (Although not mine. We go to a Chinese Restaurant on Christmas Eve and do Secret Santa. There are zero expectations. Praise be.)

But cruising the internet as one tends to do, it is amazing how much effort people put in for just a 24 hour period. There are dozens of Pinterest boards dedicated to Christmas Day Outfits!

When things irrationally annoy me, I have learnt not to roll my eyes anymore, but to look inwards at my own behaviour. Is it because my Christmas Decorations consist of sprayed strands of macaroni that the kids made during their wonder years at daycare? Is it because this year, I am considering not bothering even getting a Christmas tree? Is it because the thing I am looking forward to most is eating Mums’ famous ham and legitimately be able to drink champagne at 8.30am?

HAVE I LOST THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT?

How can I get it back?

  • Sharon Grimley

    I’m hearing you Mrs Woog. When I stopped adhering to the Church version of Christmas many years ago, I stopped caring so much about the commercial side too. Now? Expectations firmly lowered. I’m looking forward to a Christmas Eve eating and playing boardgames with my grown up kids, an early beach walk on Christmas Day, and a chilled out day with my partner. Grandkid Christmas shenanigans are Boxing Day. Just breathing & enjoying the company of my loved ones is gift enough. xx

    • Sharon! This is exactly what I needed to read. Thank you xx

  • Heidi D

    it just doesn’t feel like christmas without little kids in the house, their excitement is contagious. I’m really not feeling Christmassy at all, we have bought a cheap tree from Aldi but I am not at all in the mood to put it up. Hopefully as we get closer to the day I might get more enthusiastic. Will probably help a bit when we have all the December birthdays out of the way.

    • Yeah I think if was illegal to start the Xmas Hysteria before the first of December, that would be better!

  • I hear you Mrs Woog. This year we are home alone on Christmas day well just the five of us and honestly I am considering suggesting we just get a bbq chook and rolls and head to the beach. I really can’t be bothered putting up our Christmas tree, but hubby will want to. We are doing Christmas with my fam 23/12 and with the inlaws 29/12 at a Mexican restaurant and a chilled day at home unless my mum decides she wants to drive up to our place! Failing that we will prob go to the beach and just relax at home as long as it is nice weather.

    • The beach with a BBQ chook sounds like heaven to me!

  • We might be accidentally homeless this year cos without ever being on the market the big house might be no longer home. So no spirit here. ZERO spirit. After friday I will know whether I need to push through the madness or just sink into some pudding.

    • Whats going on Sue?

      • Will know more on friday but a young couple popped around for a few minutes on Sunday and see decided that they wanted our house so if the bank will give em the cash we will be wondering where to live before xmas.

  • Mine has waned since we moved away from our Sources of Christmas spirit aka the grandkids! But they have changed and grown too. We will see no-one on Christmas Day or for Christmas as the families have grown and spread out and we plonked ourselves on the Central Coast for retirement. We said once we moved that we would never expect anyone to take on the M1 at holidays season time and that includes us. So yes I am going to put up our tree because…it has pretty lights and the neighbours can see we still have some Christmas spirit happening. And we will pop over to Soldiers Beach on Chrissy Morning because Surfing Santa drops in after taking a few waves! We may or may not have a Christmas lunch depending on my mouth. I have started playing Christmas music in my car because I love it and I sing along. Things have changed a lot for us over the years but I am not someone who insisists on everything staying the same! Our grandkids will have $50 deposited into their bank accounts and a card for from us. I am not a stressed out woman at Christmas anymore and I think everyone should look at WHY they do keep some stuff happening for Christmas that just sets them up for disappointment! Great post! Can you believe you will have 2 HS students next year! xx

    • You should to to Umina Charcoal Chickens! Love that shop. And no Mrs W, I cannot believe that I will have two in high school EEEEK!

  • I am all for Christmas spirit but not the materialistic shit. I refuse to do anything too Christmassy before December 1st. REFUSE. I have ordered a couple of gifts online but only because I wanted to make sure they arrive in time (Aus Post – I’m looking at you). I think for me Christmas is about family, love and the spirit of giving – whether it be gifts you’ve scoured the world for because you know it will bring someone you love some joy or it’s the gift of your time and love. When it becomes about people becoming more psycho than usual and it’s all just a fake Instagrammed shit show, then I am not at all for any of it!

    • Competitive Christmassing really is an Instagram thing!

  • Nanettr

    As it’s well documented I love Christmas and spends hours planning and getting ready but also understand that it can be an overwhelming or just plain shit time of the year for others. In previous years I’ve offered to entertain friends preschoolers for a day whilst their mums shop in the morning kid free and then enjoy a tipple and lunch. During the day the kids decorate cupcakes to take home for the family, make then send themselves and their family a card in the mail (such a delight when the postman delivers it a week later), dance to Christmas music, make some decorations for their house and have lunch together. And for those friends that just can’t get over the line a late night delivery of something to make them smile when they open the door in the morning is more than enough to keep me happy. I hope you find the perfect balance for you Mrs Woog. Merry Christmas 🌲🎅🏼

    • Nannette, that is the Christmas Spirit right there. You are a good human xx

  • Merin Batterham

    sometimes popping up the tree and decorations helps one find the christmas spirit!!! But not before Dec 1st – no wonder we are so over christmas before it gets here when it arrives in every retail outlet in October!!!!

    • This I know to be true Merin xx

  • Anon

    I LOVE your Xmas eve Chinese dinner idea Mrs Woog. I am going to steal it! I’m really conscious of setting new achievable traditions for my daughters so when they are Mums/wives they won’t feel the pressures that I do. I think the Chinese restaurant is a perfect example. I’d love any other similar ideas for easy no fuss present traditions? Happy to make a fuss for birthdays but not so much for Christmas.

    • Yes to the pressure of the Mums and Wives! Do the Chinese option and everyone can relax xx

  • Michelle

    First year at home with no grandparents. I’m struggling to get with the season, and general consensus among my menfolk (husband and three sons 18, 22, 25) is ditch the tree, any decorations, presents etc. But can’t face treating it like a regular day so what to do??