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Sunday, 3 December 2017

Dear Santa, this year I want nothing


Its that time of year where children are writing their Santa's list, where teens are discussing what expensive gifts their parents will be buying, where bloggers post their wish lists and where we are all in the shops trying to find that perfect something. But this year I've kept my paper blank. 



2017, or more precisely the last 4 months have been full of a whole lot of learning. I've hit rock bottom and in that place I found materialistic things don't mean much at all. No amount of gadgets or clothes and makeup or books could replace the feeling of a friend or a family member. Happiness doesn't come from any of those things, it comes from laughter and conversation and company. I soon came to wish that for this Christmas all I want is to have a healthy, happy, family, some happy memories and most importantly to be happy and grateful. To have those things would mean that I am incredibly lucky, a lot luckier than most. Presents under the tree shouldn't be a measure of love, or wealth. For years I've grown up confusing the happiness I feel on Christmas day to be because I received X amount of presents from X amount of people, "oh look at how many people love me." But I want to strip that back, I want to just admire the people I have surrounding me on Christmas day and to just enjoy their company without it being confused by expensive gifts. 


Christmas approaching this year has really got me thinking about others. About all the people who won't have gifts on Christmas or wont have a family, who will be sitting on the streets as everyone stuffs their bellies with too much food to replace their empty pockets. 


Christmas is a time for consumerism. It's a time of year where we are made to search for things we could possibly want and a lot of the time they are things we don't really need. And how lucky are we to list things we want, not things we need. As a kid, I would sit with the Argos catalogue before me and circle every toy that I wanted, and on this magical day I would have a good percentage of my list sitting under the tree, only for those toys to be forgotten about months later. I wouldn't like to think of myself a spoilt, nor am I from a wealthy family, but Christmas has always been a time of year that I have been showered with gifts and money, especially by my dad. Our relationship has always been very up and down, and he has always used money and gifts as a way to replace his absence in our lives. So I guess I always took how lucky I am for granted, because he was using money to replace love I assumed it was just the done thing to do.


So this year, I have kept my Christmas list blank. That's a lie actually, because when I told my family about this idea they refused to allow me to have nothing on Christmas. So I've given them each a book I would like to read. My brother and I have a £20 limit for each other and he asked what to do with the spare money. To which I replied, either keep your money, or if you want to even it out then we can go buy some food together and take it to the local food bank. Christmas is a time of year which we can all agree is a time for giving. Yet we all give to the people that have already got, what about the people who don't? 


I recently watched a spoken word poetry which you can watch here and there was a point that resonated so deeply with me; "It doesn't matter if the glass is half full or half empty, there is water in the cup." We are all going on complaining about this, that or the other forgetting just how much we have. If you are reading this you are in the wealthiest percentage of this planet because you own a device to read these words, yet you may say you aren't because you're a student with only £43.01 in  your bank account. 


Christmas is a time where we get far too lost in the money and presents and the cuffuffle of what should be a simple day to practice gratitude. The money my parents could spend on me for Christmas could be spent on paying the bills when things get tight because something unexpectedly went wrong in the house, it could be spent on giving to charities that can help people, on food to give to food banks, it could be spent on a plane ticket so that instead of giving me money my dad could come visit me abroad and give me love. 


Dear 'Santa',
 This year I want nothing, because everything I could possibly want and need is already in my life and the things that I currently lack, money can't buy, only hard work can. So please listen to the whispers and tears of the children and adults who need you most but who won't dare demand things like we do.
P.S if you are under the age of 11 and are reading this, number 1, I think the content of this blog may be a little too raw for you and, number 2. I put Santa between quotation marks because he has many different names. 

4 comments :

  1. I love this post and the idea! It's true, we all spend more than we should at Christmas. This year I have tried to not spend as much. Each year I'm going to make sure I spend less as 1. I can't and 2. the people I'm buying for have loads of stuff already!

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  2. I love this post and your honesty Angie, as usual. You're so funny when you address the 11 year olds... hum, I forget from my middle-age that modern 11 years old are online, contrary to me 3 decades ago.

    Same with my family, we say we don't want stuff but they still want to so we said how about socket gifts only? (and a bit of help with all the paperwork we have to do) and that seems to work out ok.

    It's precisely because of this spirit that I decided to send cards this year, too, but had to be selective as i'm not rich enough to send 100+ for all those I interacted with this year.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed my little side note for the 11 year olds. Christmas is now hugely commercialised and I think we very much get lost in it all forgetting about the important things, which is to be with the people you love.

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  3. Yea, lol, made me giggle!
    & agreed! just like Rachel (@nospaceformilk ) posted her anti-gift blog post, in the same spirit!

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