wings and things

Not buying into Christmas

on December 14, 2013

Such a relief! Today, Ming and I had planned to go into town, get presents for each other and Anthony, get a Christmas tree, a ham, wrapping paper, sticky tape (which I can never find), send a few last-minute cards, decorate the house, find the Christmas tree lights and ornaments (oh where did I put them?) and generally have a frantic, stressful, expensive, horrible day.

But on waking up this morning to a day that was already promising relentless heat, I changed my mind and a bit later I discussed my idea with Ming:

Me: I think we should postpone Christmas.
Ming: What?
Me: Well, you will be in hospital until Christmas Eve … actually maybe we should just skip Christmas this year.
Ming: What? No presents?
Me: No presents.
Ming: No tree?
Me: No tree.
Ming: No turkey?
Me: No turkey.
Ming: No Christmas crackers?
Me: No Christmas crackers.
Ming: Mum, this is such a relief!
Me: So you agree?
Ming: I think it’s a brilliant idea!
Me: Without all the usual fuss we can celebrate Christmas for what it is.
Ming: Do you mean go to church?
Me: Yes.
Ming: Okay, let’s shake on this.

So we shook hands and grinned at each other.

The sense of relief is huge! I don’t have to fight through the throngs at the shops, spend a small fortune on ‘stuff’, don’t have to worry about how the hell I am going to cook a turkey with no oven, don’t have to search the whole of Australia for cranberry sauce, don’t have to spend hours wrapping presents, don’t have to queue up at the post office – ahhhhh!

A bit later:

Ming: But what will we eat for lunch on Christmas day?
Me: Ham sandwiches? I mean Anthony hardly has any appetite anymore anyway, it’ll be too hot for me to eat and you’re a fussy brat.
Ming: I like ham sandwiches.
Me: Good, then that’s decided.
Ming: But Grandma’s still coming on Christmas day isn’t she?
Me: No.
Ming: WHAT?!
Me: I’m joking, you idiot!

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh – now all I have to do today is frolic with the peacocks – yeeha!


41 responses to “Not buying into Christmas

  1. camsgranny says:

    hehehe…i can so relate to all of the emotions in this post. i have no love for this holiday at the moment….there is just to much going on, and would rather just by pass. I think your idea is excellent, and I may follow suit. Ham sandwiches and chips and a salad sound great to me. Hugs Jules……

  2. Ann Koplow says:

    Great post. Thanks!

  3. With all you’ve got going on …. you and Ming made the right decision … Just one question …’Does Grandma like ham sandwiches’ ha!… Glad you’re feeling more relaxed .. Diane

  4. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography) says:

    Christmas is such a busy & highly expensive time of year. I think I’ve noticed the extravagance more this year as I have done so much street photography of the homeless & destitute in the inner city streets, as the Christmas shoppers rush around possibly spending what they cannot afford on presents that often get returned unwanted (so the media says).

    I think your idea is great, especially as you seem to be having a heat wave over in the West at the moment. It’s still pleasantly cool here in the South-east (of Aust.).

    I have not bought Christmas ‘presents’ for a few years now. Not just the cost, but it’s impossible to know what people want/like and I hate the idea of buying stuff just for the sake of it. I usually cook/make a few bits and pieces though. A couple of years running I’ve donated the amount I would have spent (on presents) to my favourite charity, and then of course there are the bush fire and flood victims in recent years. They seem to be more in need than my family/friends.

    • jmgoyder says:

      Going into a shop – any shop – this time of year fills me with horror! And oh the heat! Our kitchen thermometer is showing 36C and it’s 6pm. Apparently tomorrow will be hotter.
      I think your donation idea is brilliant.

  5. Hooray for both of you!! I admire you for having the courage to put the question out there. Enjoying Christmas for the day that it is and what it means for you guys, I think that it is wonderful. 🙂

  6. cobbies69 says:

    pull a cracker while eating ham sandwiches, just for the spirit… 🙂

  7. Marie says:

    I admire you too! Merry Christmas and enjoy the holiday in your own special way. Ham sandwiches sound like a yummy alternative to a big heavy meal. 🙂

  8. Lynda says:

    Julie, you do make me laugh! I’m glad you are taking it easy for the the holiday. You don’t need the stress. We have cancelled the Christmas festivities here too, because we’ve spent the lot on the Mtn. Farmlet. That said… we are to have a tree this year. Why? Because they are free for the cutting on the mountain! It has been almost 30 years since we had a tree, and this will be good enough for us. 😉

  9. bulldog says:

    It certainly does no harm to skip the normal once in a while… we as retirees have done that unless we are to end up at one of the kids houses… this year we are doing the same, a mere visit by Linda’s sister for a chat and a sandwich… glorious as far as I’m concerned… church in the morning and that is that…

  10. Relief is the best gift! Chips and salad? Sounds good to me. 😉

  11. janeslog says:

    Good. Although it is the 14th December I have already been to 3 nights out with different groups of friends and have a get together with friends at New Lanark tomorrow. Christmas does go on too long.

    I can’t even be bothered decorating a tree so a few years ago we bought one of these fibre optic ones with the decorations already on it. Just plug it in and you have a lovely tree.

    Listening to the Ashes at Perth and the BBC commentators are saying it is so hot laptops are melting! Not so warm here but it is quite mild for December and a bit windy. Do you want to swap continents?

    • jmgoyder says:

      Yes please let’s swap continents! My laptop is boiling my fingers nearly off!

      • janeslog says:

        It’s dry here at the moment and 11 C (52 F) but the wind will get up later and we will get gales of 80mph again.

        Sunrise is at 08.40 and sunset at 15.43 so a short day. It is quite dark as well as the cloud is quite thick.

        Your daytime temperature is about 41c (106 F) which is very warm.

        Cold short dark days or hot sunny days – I know which I would prefer.

      • jmgoyder says:

        I know which I would prefer too!

  12. Great idea. I am sure you will have a fantastic day!

  13. tersiaburger says:

    Wonderful. I am also not doing Christmas this year. I am going into a very poor area with a group of young people and we will provide meals for approximately 500 people. One of our Hospice patients have decided to donate the money, they would have spent on gifts, to Stepping Stone Hospice.

    • jmgoyder says:

      I have so much love and respect for you, Tersia, and I think what you are doing is what Christmas is all about. I have been thinking about this indulgence Christmassy habit for awhile and I think the trauma of the accident and what might have happened has woken me up. I turn 55 in a few weeks and apparently I can then get paid a small wage for doing volunteer work. You continue to inspire me. Happy Christmas to you all – Juliexxxxxxxxxxxx

  14. What a relief indeed!

  15. I think you have made the best decision under the circumstances. If you are going through the motions to accomplish all of that tradition, what does it mean? I admire you and Ming for making this a Christmas without all the “trappings”.

  16. FlaHam says:

    Julie, We have taken a Christmas break in the past, for much the same reason you are. So relax, enjoy the time with Ants and Ming, and rejoice that you have them both. Take care, Bill

  17. Judith says:

    Sounds like a great idea to me. No stress. We’ve simplified so much, ours is pretty low key too. And I like it.

  18. Lucky you, Julie. Christmas can be such an exhausting and expensive time. I’m sure you’ll all have a happy family time together without all the trimmings, Christmas should be about families first and foremost, but unfortunately has become so commercialised. Frolicking with the peacocks sounds like a great way to celebrate. 🙂

  19. elizabeth says:

    Well done Julie (and Ming) it takes courage to go against the flow, but I think you all made some very wise decisions. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!! 🙂

  20. I can’t imagine it no Christmas, that would not work in my family, but then my family is a lot bigger than yours…………………..

  21. janechese says:

    I haven’t got my tree up and doubt that I will bother now,(was sick with bronchitis but better now) but will bring out my angel with the lights -no muss, no fuss but makes a statement and puts a focus on the holy season. that, and going to friends for dinner and that takes care of the fellowship and food.Plus I will go to church for the candlelight service and singing of the carols.That is what the season is about for me.

  22. tootlepedal says:

    Good scheme. As the poet wrote: “Oh how my soul languishes for a couple of ham sanguishes.”

  23. bluebee says:

    I said to my husband this morning (in a shopping centre full of frantic, wide-eyed and wild-haired shoppers and screaming children) – so glad we don’t have to do the whole Christmas thing. We are sneaking off to Mornington to play golf and are ignoring Christmas altogether. 😀 A ham sandwich picnic at Cape Schanck sounds like a perfect idea. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  24. Brilliant idea I love it, and wish one day my offspring will agree too! Plus phew I heard about the heat you’re having over there!!

  25. You and Ming have it right! Christmas is in the heart and our good will towards our fellow man/woman – not in the decorations or a big meal.

  26. Good for you! We don’t do all that and Christmas is a peaceful time again.

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