I have adopted the American way. I will not whisper the word Christmas or the Holidays until after Thanksgiving, my new favourite holiday. However just this once I am breaking my self imposed silence in the hope of broadcasting peaceful sanity during the season of clamour. There are 57 days left until the Holidays. Here's your chance to get ahead of the hunt.
Nip over to your library and borrow a book called “Unplug the Christmas Machine” by Jo Robinson and Jean Coppock Staeheli. This will give you more than enough time to speed read your way through, so that you can figure out what, if anything, is important to you, and “jettison” all the stressful rest.
I read this book about 5 years ago when my children were really small. It was a Christmas present from a jolly good American pal of mine. I read it during the post Christmas carnage where my home looked like a toy shop but no child played with the mountain of gifts that had descended. I decided to adopt a new rule. The new rule was that Father Christmas only brought 3 presents and a stocking for each child.
The Grinches amongst us would announce this new rule on Christmas Eve, but for everyone else, the gentle introduction, nay suggestion, that the Holidays are about to be scaled down to fairer family fit size, would do everyone a favour.
Initially, in my home, there was a certain amount of confusion and descent, but during the course of the following year I played the little drummer boy and forced everyone to accept my benign dictatorship. Hence 57 days seems like a reasonable period of time to ease this new mind set on reluctant small people.
Three may seem a somewhat paultry number, but when you take into account the generosity of family, relatives and friends there is more than enough to go around.
Another aspect of this book that I particularly warmed to was the role of the male/partner/father/husband in all the festivities. Broadly speaking it is the womenfolk who rule the roost, determine which traditions are followed and delegate a whole host to dull laborious chores to the man. Otherwise, his contribution is somewhat limited. The writers suggest that if their, paternal or familial traditions were incorporated, this would give the holiday more meaning to them.
Whilst I'm tempted to do a 'bloggy giveaway' to pass on my own copy to the lucky winner, I shall restrain myself since I am wicked mean with books. I cannot think of anyone who would welcome a spine split, dog eared, copiously annotated floppy back.
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