Sunday, 17 November 2013

Why I will buying less and giving more this Christmas

    


    It has been a while since I have written anything personal on the blog but there are a few things that have really made me think recently. The high street is already in full Christmas frenzy despite it only being mid November it feels like if you haven't already done all of your Christmas shopping that you are seriously lagging behind all the super organised folk who did all their Shopping in August and have already ordered their food, you know the kind. I have yet to buy a single present, I have a rough idea of what I want to buy but I refuse to enter in to the panic and frenzy of the buying season. I have been too preoccupied with other things. 

    The last couple of years haven't been easy for me, two Novembers ago I lost my mum shortly followed by my Grandfather in the first week of December. There is nothing quite like loosing a loved one to put life in to perspective, and I have never once thought I wish I had bought them more presents, but I am frequently plagued with the idea that I should have spent more time with them, that I should have told them I loved them more and that I should have created more memories...

    I have a son who I adore and of course he has lot's of presents under the tree and I love the excitement of putting out the whisky and mince pies for Santa and the carrots for Rudolph, nothing can quite match the innocence of a child. But what about those children who won't get a visit from Santa, who won't have a roast dinner with all the trimmings, the thought of it is almost unbearable. So this year I will still be buying presents of course (local, eco and organic where possible), but instead of wasting money on ridiculous things that quite honestly we don't need I will be thinking twice and giving my time to family members and relatives, making memories with my son that I hope he will treasure forever such as our yearly ritual of making gingerbread and decorating them and taking a moment to reflect on the things that are really important in life.

    Just turning on the telly you are greeted with news of disasters all over the world and people who have far more important things to worry about than buying the perfect Christmas present such as how will they feed their children or where will they live... Somewhere the meaning of Christmas became lost along the way, so to redress the balance I will be thinking of ways that I can give to others that go beyond the simple buying of presents. I will be putting together a parcel of food for my local food bank which is crying out for donations. Giving your time to elderly relatives who may otherwise be alone or taking the time to volunteer at a local charity are all ways that we can give more and buy less. If everyone does something to help another this Christmas we can redress the balance and make Christmas about so much more than just material things, we can make it about kindness for others. I would love to hear, what will you be doing to give to others this Christmas? 

Ana x
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28 comments

  1. I am sorry for the loss of some of the most important people in your life. I think you are absolutely right that it is the memories we cherish, and we definitely need to make as many opportunities to make memories as we can x

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment, it is the memories that are left behind long after material items have gone x

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  2. Couldn't agree with you more Ana, time means more than objects, and things should be given to those that need it. I'm going with a Christmas child shoe box, which I'm going to get my little girl to help put together ox

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    1. I love the shoe box campaign I will be doing that with my son too :) Xx

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  3. Really nice post Ana, couldnt agree more with you. Lately I have given lot of children clothes to charity, but this was not specific for "Christmas" in any matters. I may have to think then a bit more now :-)
    x

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    1. It's good to give all year round, anything we can do will make a difference Xx

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  4. I think giving to a local food bank is a wonderful idea. I did that a few months ago during our federal government shutdown and while I was shopping for items they requested had a random stranger give me $50 to help me purchase more food! So many people both where you live and across the globe are in need for various reasons. From the battered woman, hungry & poor, to the lonely troop deployed, to the victims of natural disasters. I look forward to our toy drive sponsored by the U.S. Marine Reserves every year called Toys for Tots here in the USA. It reminds my children about the kids here who might not get a gift otherwise when we donate.

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    1. The toy drive sounds like a wonderful initiative, I think it's important for children to realise there are others worse off than them, it teaches them compassion from an early age Xx

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  5. Nice post Ana. Two children who live near Dundee collect for their local Shelter each year and for the last few years I've given a box of beauty items. x

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  6. Lovely post, Anna and very touching. You are right, the media & high end/street brands and shops have turned Christmas into a spend-frenzy, and the meaning of Christmas these days is somewhat lost. And it's very hard when you lose a loved one, too. You have given me food for thought, thank you dear xx

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  7. I'm so sorry to hear you've lost two loved ones and agree that it does really make you see the much bigger picture that we're often so guilty of missing when we're wrapped up with the silly little things. You've reminded me that I need to have a pre-xmas clear out and donate items that I no longer need/use to a local charity shop xx

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    1. Thank you Evelyn, it's always good to have a little clear out before Christmas Xx

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  8. Beautiful post Ana and I couldn't agree more; we have a very similar approach to Christmas. I am sorry to hear about your loss. I have lost both my parents within the last 3 years and they loved Christmas so much that it's never been quite the same without them x

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    1. Gosh Annie loosing both parents in such a short space of time is very tough, I don't think things will ever be quite the same I am hoping I can learn to enjoy the holidays a bit more for the sake of my son. Thank you for commenting Xx

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  9. What a lovely, touching post Ana. Sorry to hear about the loss of your mum & grandpa. Things like that definitely put into perspective what really matters in life! xx

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    1. Thanks Amber, your comment means a lot, it's lovely to feel so supported Xx

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  10. My mum and I did a charity shoebox this year. One for a young boy and one for a teenage girl. They get sent off to help children who aren't as lucky as we are.

    I've nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award. If you are interested, please go to http://teainthetub.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/the-versatile-blogger-award.html for more info.

    Helen x

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    1. Hi Helen thank you for your comment and the nomination I will check it out :) Xx

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  11. Ah Lovely Ana xx I can so empathise with this post. And I understand the loss you feel particularly around the anniversary of your Mum & Grandfather's passing xx It can be particularly hard in the run up to celebrations like Christmas. Somehow the loss of our mothers hits us harder than anyone else. And I agree about bringing Christmas back to people rather than things. I try hard to teach my 2 girls that there is so much more to Christmas than just toys. I think we could all learn to give back just a little bit more :-)

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    1. Our mums will always be special to us and will always be missed, thank you for your lovely comment Charlie Xx

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  12. "Somewhere the meaning of Christmas became lost along the way, so to redress the balance I will be thinking of ways that I can give to others that go beyond the simple buying of presents." Your beautiful heart shines through, Ana. What a meaningful expression of the holidays and what a wonderful role model you are being for your son and so many others. You are a living legacy for the people who are no longer with you. Thank you for the gentle reminder of what holiday spirit is really about. Much love. XO

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    1. Thank you Sarita, it's so lovely to be able to write about things like this and share my thoughts with others Xx

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  13. Ahem to that! I just cannot stand "Christmas" and have never understood the whole panic of having to buy people meaningless tat that they will eventually throw out or pass onto someone. I only ever get people gifts if I know it's something they need or really want. You are so right, to give someone your time and love is more valuable than anything else, life is short.

    Mayah x

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  14. What a fantastic post Ana. It is something we ALL should think about. I understand how you feel, I too lost my Mum at this time of year two years ago and I too wish I had made more memories. We are having a really pared down Christmas, none of us are flush this year in my family and don't see the point in spending money we just don't have. We are giving small gifts and just having lots of family time with plenty of good old home cooked food and laughter and that is what I am looking forward to more than anything. I love the festive period, not for the craze of shopping but it is always a time I sit back and give thanks for the people I have in my life. I always make a donation to our local food bank this time of year and the other thing I will be doing is taking lots of photos, making memories and being thankful for the things I do have in my life and not hankering after the things I don't have. x

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    1. Thanks Kay, so sorry to hear about your Mum too. I think that small thoughtful gifts and laughter are precious Xx

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