WE have already started the official countdown to Christmas Day. Some of us have everything organised from stocking fillers to the lunch menu. Others feel November did not get a long enough crack of the whip.
For some, knowing Christmas is just around the corner is far from comforting – especially if finances are tight.
The shops are full of Christmas fare, the TV ads feature all the latest toys. Struggling families feel the pressure to be happy about it.
There is a sense of guilt at displaying a Grinch-like demeanor when you are still saving for the power bill and your childrens’ five-year-old classmates expect Santa to bring an iPad with all the trimmings.
Who wants to experience a lump in one’s throat every time one sees a Christmas bauble or fairy lights?
The stress can be overwhelming.
Some would argue Christmas shopping is flogged far too early, just as many say having hot cross buns in the supermarkets on Boxing Day is ludicrous. It makes sense from a marketing point of view but how does it depict the true spirit of the season?
Then again, it might be a good thing that we are hammered with reminders early enough to give our heads a wobble and realise Christmas truly is about more than spending money.
It could also prevent us making a spectacular mistake like going into debt in early December just to see the looks of joy on our childrens’ faces on Christmas morning and then finding they are more intrigued with the wrapping paper or boxes.
What would happen if the entire town agreed to a secret Santa deal, one present for every person and a spending limit?
Would anyone be truly miserable or depleted of Christmas joy? We all want to show love at Christmas time but love really does not have to be measured by receipts for things not everyone can afford.