I feel oddly Grinch-like about Christmas this year. It is on my naughty list.
I keep muttering about the transactional nature of gift giving. It feels like a box ticking exercise, as we all frantically prepare to hand each other goods of approximately the same value.
I don’t like being asked what I want as a gift, which is pretty unreasonable of me as I don’t generally like surprises either.
I would quite happily ditch gifts completely in favour of experiences with people.
Nothing fancy, even having lunch together somewhere casual would be lovely.
I found myself becoming distressed yesterday afternoon about the shopping – which I haven’t done – and the decorating – which I haven’t done either – and the logistics of trying to please everyone.
I will be glad when it is all over.
I don’t actually have plans for Christmas Day.
My family are celebrating a week early, the kids are going away with their dad and I will be alone.
This bothered me terribly two years ago when I was a Christmas orphan for the first time. So I compensated by visiting half the world on December 25.
This year I will be content to just take the dogs for a walk and have a solo swim at the beach – between the flags – and be done with it.
My gift to myself will be a few days of rest after an insanely busy year.
I decided to try and shake myself out of my Christmas funk last night by taking the youngest to Noël Sydney in the Botanic Gardens.
It’s an event that that includes food trucks and markets and entertainment in the most lovely spot overlooking the Harbour.
As it was a Monday night, I took a gamble and drove into the city, which takes fully five minutes from my place when it’s not peak hour.
I scored a rock star park right out the front of the event and paid $4.50 for an hour’s parking.
We had a wander through the markets, admired the digital Christmas trees, got ourselves some dinner and settled on the grass to watch a rousing live rendition of “All I want for Christmas is you”.
It put a smile on my grinchy face.
Then we walked back to my rock star park and were home again five minutes later.
I will battle the crowds on Thursday night to do my Christmas shopping and try to put my heart into it and not just my debit card.
Maybe next year I will approach Christmas differently. This year there hasn’t been time to think, it has just been a constant crazy scramble to get things done.
Song of the day: All I want for Christmas is you