How many years have you told yourself that never, never, never again??!!  The nightmare of crazed shoppers, crowded streets, the manic must buy, must buy – anything will do!

Within 2 weeks those same people will be looking at their credit card bills, looking at their electricity and oil bills and wondering – why oh why did I do it?

The people we buy for do exactly the same, year in and year out.  When are we going to get to the stage when we all agree ITS NOT WORTH IT!! 

Maybe then we could spend the money on ourselves, on items we really want rather than those rather horrible scarves, gloves, hats, pullovers, etc that we wouldnt be seen dead in?  If everyone did that – the shopping arcades and malls would be quieter, people would be less stressed without thinking that they absolutely had to buy everybody everything!!

What is Christmas really about?  Even though I dont agree with the date of supposed birth (that one was definitely given by King Constantine a very long time AFTER  the death of Jesus and just coincidentally coincided with the winter solstice, pagan stuff etc etc) – I am certain that it was never meant to be about breaking the bank and giving the retailers a good time!

Women generally spend their Christmas morning slaving over a hot, slippery turkey that just won’t open enough for the stuffing!  Finding out that the 12 plates they thought they had for the 12 people for lunch mysteriously became 10 somehow during the preceding year and that those treasured cut glass goblets that Aunt Maud gave them for their umpteenth wedding anniversary umpteen years ago – have suddenly dwindled to 5 instead of 12!! 

 Oh no, does that mean that the slightly dubious grandchild who came to visit a few weeks ago and was definitely showing interest in the collection has made off with them?  Chances are they have been sold to provide for his habit of drink/drugs/wargames/women etc.  Plastic cups then!!

I MEAN IS IT REALLY WORTH THE STRESS??  ADD IT ALL UP – TRIP TO THE MALDIVES FOR 2 – SAME PRICE!!!!!!!

I did it!  Never looked back after that – even though the sight of an Asian Father Christmas arriving on an Arab dhow in sweltering heat to an island much beloved in the normal course of events, but which suddenly looked like an advert for fairy lights and grottos was a rather weird experience!

Still the sun, sea and fabulous sand more than made up for any deficiencies on the part of Father Christmas and the grotto!  And no, I am not on a commission for the Maldives, just on compassion run for those who need to let Christmas be something else for a change!

With love for the New Year and the hope that some of us will do it differently next time!  For the sake of our health and sanity!   Not to mention our wallets!    Jane xx