As we head into the middle of December, all around me my friends, colleagues and family are getting into the Christmas spirit. It makes me think of two quotes that seem particularly relevant, and I want to see what you think.
“Remember, This December, That love weighs more than gold!” – Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon
A great quote, don’t you think (And a great name too!)? It’s a touching sentiment and strong idea but I think it can sometimes get lost as we let the marketing men dazzle us with golden promises. Love might be more important, but sometimes it can feel light as air.
Here’s the second quote, one that made me smile a little ruefully, because I have to fight the urge to do this myself, and especially at Christmas when I want to shower the people I love with fabulous treats.
“Christmas is the season when you buy this year’s gifts with next year’s money.” – Author Unknown
You know how it goes. We start off with the best of intentions. We have ‘that’ talk, with our friends, with our family, with our work colleagues. It goes something like this
“I can’t believe it’s December already. I haven’t even started thinking about presents. I’ve got so many to get, it’s just silly. Really, Christmas has become too commercial, it’s all about spending money. I’m going to stick to a budget this time, and only get things people might really want”
But then you hit the shops, and you start looking around, and you start putting things in your basket because you want to make Christmas feel really special. When the people you love open their presents, you want the present to shout out how much you love them. And so the budget moves a bit, and then a bit more, and then it goes out of the window.
We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Of course we have. So why do we do it? Do we really think our friends and our family will love us less because we’ve spent a little less money on their presents? Or think about it from a different angle – would you really love your husband, wife, children, parents, siblings, or friends less if they spent on your present only what they could actually afford, rather than what they felt they should be able to give you. If they gave you a huge box of your favourite chocolates and an ‘I Owe You’ for a whole evening, a whole day or even a whole week of their time and attention, wouldn’t that be even better than an expensive perfume to add to the ten you already may have, and a hurried half hour for a coffee and pressie exchange?
Think about why we love presents so much. It’s very rarely the thing itself that we love. It’s the feeling that someone you love has spent time thinking about you, and has made the effort to get you something they think you’ll enjoy. And when you think about some of the best Christmases’ you’ve had, what do you remember? A cosy couple of days with your family, or finally catching up with that friend you haven’t seen all year, and really being able to relax and catch-up, to talk, to share, and to laugh. None of those memories are about things, they’re all about people. Spending real time (not just a rushed coffee catch up, or quick call or text) with the people you love is the ultimate luxury, the most extravagant present you can lavish on someone.
If you choose it, and without spending any money you can have a very very luxurious Christmas with the people you love.
Wishing you a luxurious loving and festive season!