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So this is Christmas.

I would much rather talk to my friends and family throughout the year rather than stuff it all into one crazy month of; parties, lunches and random catch ups. I know we’re all busy and stuff as the days move from January to February and from February to November (at least that’s how it feels) but the concept of the holiday season leaves me scratching my bald spot.

I went to Hornsby today to do some last minute Christmas shopping – achievement unlocked – and have lunch with a friend I’ve not seen for a while. It was hot. The Shopping Centre overcrowded and the lunch was delicious (at least the chips were).

When I first arrived, I got absolutely lost in the massive Westfield Shopping Centre at Hornsby. It’s huge. Also, despite its size, nowhere big enough for the amount of people trying to find out what to buy Nanna Joan, Uncle Frank, and Aunty Petunia. I’m sure you can guess I’m not the world’s biggest shopping fan. I much prefer buying things online but I ran out of time this year.

I knew exactly what I wanted to get and for the most part I stuck to it, although I did buy my friends newborn baby a rather fetching gizmo, so all in all I was happy. But the amount of frustrated, frazzled and overwhelmed people trying to find the perfect gift for someone they see once a year was astonishing.

I understand that Christmas is once a year and when we celebrate the birth of Santa, but honestly. The stress in the air of the shopping centre was stupid. Why do we make such a big deal of this one day of the year? I know that some celebrate the birth of Jesus, and that’s cool, while others use the day as a chance to reconnect with loved ones, also cool by the way.

But the sheer level of insanity that pours into shoppers hearts and minds is beyond understanding.

I, personally, would prefer to celebrate my loved ones throughout the year. Busy or not, there should always be time for those who made us or nurtured us. And this isn’t an anti-Christmas rant by any stretch of the imagination. I rather like Christmas even if it’s changed from the days where Christmas Eve was the longest day of the year and waking up at 4am was acceptable because SANTA!!!

I just don’t understand why we make it such a production. I got talking to the lady in the newsagent today while I was buying a “Yay, you had a daughter” card. She was a lovely Asian lady, and her business was outside the shopping centre, and had time to kill in the let’s talk stakes.

She made a comment that got me thinking about the holidays, and the stress we put ourselves under to make the day – and month – important. She said that she has all these parties and family functions to attend but it seems like a waste of time because there is no ‘quality’ to the time she spends with her family and friends over Christmas.

It’s just moving from one house to the next and all you end up with is exhaustion.”

I’m lucky in the respect that I don’t really have to worry about that. I used to have a Boxing Day gathering where all my friends would rock up to my place, eat food, get drunk, talk about disgusting topics and then go home. I’m not having it this year, for personal reasons, but I realised that without Boxing Day this year, there are some friends I won’t have seen for two years. Catching up has been replaced with having lives, Facebook and Twitter.

We get daily updates into the lives of our friends and families these days online. I don’t remember the last time I had an actual sit down phone conversation.

Christmas is a time of year when all the pressures of the year seem to bubble over. It may be because I don’t have children, or a large extended family anymore, or it may be just that I’m getting older but I’d prefer to sit down with my friends and family throughout the year rather than cram it all into one month of hangovers and celebration.

I’m not suggesting we cancel Christmas. I’m just suggesting that rather than leave it all to the end of the year we share the love throughout the year. A ten minute chat, an evening over good food and good wine, a laughter filled afternoon while sausages are burning on the BBQ and kids are making enough racket to wake the dead.

I remember my Mother in the Christmas’ of yesteryear. Preparing for days, or weeks, to host the family here at Christmas. The food, the shopping, the cleaning. I look back now and think my childhood belief that Mum was indeed SuperGirl might just have been correct. I don’t know how people do it.

I even remember having to make my bed on Christmas morning because the presents would be all laid out on the cover so my Aunt could make her inspection of what I’d gotten before she had her lunch.

I may not be particularly good at the whole friend thing. At least the keeping in touch thing. So my Christmas gift to my family and friends is to make more effort to stay in touch throughout 2017 and to ensure that come Christmas we’ll have all seen and spent time with each because we can and not because a calendar date tells us we have to.

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