Christmas is an annual religious celebration commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed generally on December 25th..

So how many people out there celebrate Christmas yet don’t go to church or even believe in a god? I don’t subscribe to any particular faith/church/religious order, so therefore I don’t celebrate Christmas. It’s not because I’m a miserable old git , it’s just why should I glorify something I don’t believe in? I mean I might as well celebrate Ramadan if I’m going to hypocritical by celebrating Christmas, as I have a few Muslim friends and they are more “religious” than most of the people I know who celebrate Christmas. Plus I could do with losing some weight and fasting during the day for a month might do me some good as opposed to stuffing myself silly in the name of Jesus.

To some people, Christmas is all about the presents. It’s a time for businesses to make more money and for shoppers to waste their money. Most families will celebrate it by getting together, which is fine. But I think that the true reason for celebrating Christmas is lost. Nowadays it’s more about getting what you want.

Some children are now confusing Father Christmas with Jesus Christ. They no longer see their presents as gifts but as their rights. They are, from a young age, bombarded by advertising for the next must have toy on the market, which is guaranteed not to last into the new year even though it has cost the equivalent of a months food bill for the average family. Peer pressure on our kids means they put pressure on their parents, because let’s face it, poor Billy can’t be seen by his friends to have non designer trainers, even though he’s only 6.

Some parent fall into the trap of the “put on the card” culture and celebrate the festive season by maxing out their credit cards or taking out loans and then spend the next 12 months paying it back only to start all over again the following Christmas when, of course, their credit rating has improved and they can access a larger amount of live now pay later, and so indulge to a greater level. The cycle continues.

Christmas comes to the high street earlier and earlier each year, We are focused on the bling. Christmas should be about caring and compassion. But the pressure is everywhere.. Don’t give gifts? Get branded cheapskate. Don’t send cards? Get branded skinflint. Don’t attend holiday parties? Get branded Scrooge.

It’s not just Christmas but all holidays that are now too commercialized. Retailers put pressure on all of us to buy the perfect gift or box of chocolate or jewellery for a loved one on Valentine’s Day. We’re pressured to buy cards and gifts for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day when some of us have parents who really don’t deserve it because they’re so self centred. And let’s not forget about birthdays. I’ve reached the age where it’s just another day for me. I don’t need a present just because I was born. I had nothing to do with that. It was out of my control.

The Christmas holidays should be about spending time with family and friends, sharing memories and creating new ones. Not about how much money we spend on each other.

I’m not even going to open the can of worms that is decorating your home with more lights than the Las Vegas strip in an effort to out do your neighbours and at the same time causing a major headache to low flying small aircraft. Or the fact we spend the whole of December lying to our children about this big man in a red coat who is watching them, listing who is naughty and who is nice. Do you actually mention the birth of a special baby any more?

If you truly want to experience the joy of giving, go spend a day giving hot food and drink to the homeless. Give out a few handmade hats or scarves to those standing in the cold. Give from your heart to the truly needy, after all isn’t that, as I understand it, the true meaning of Christmas, and not Ka-Chingmas?

As I stated at the top of this piece I don’t subscribe to Christmas but that of course does not stop me of holding an opinion on it. It really doesn’t have anything to do with me how you spend your money or how you celebrate or even if you believe. I’m sure not everybody reading this will over indulge and some may even feel the need to defend themselves against my words. All I ask is that when you are finding the room to stuff one more vol-au-vent into your festive mouth you spare a thought as to what you are really celebrating.

Merry Christmas and here’s to the Boxing Day Sales, joy to the commercial world.

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