We’re days before the Holidays start. Whether it’s Christmas or any other similar celebration or the New Year’s Eve, that doesn’t depend on religion anymore, people are maxing their credit cards, buying way too much food and trying to show off, because … you’re supposed to.
We’ve had a very difficult year in my country too. Hundreds of thousands of people were fired, their bank payments are late and some lost their homes or the cars they bought on credit. January will come with more cuts and even less money for most people. And still, these days, it seems like we’re a country of Rockefellers. All the hyper-markets are packed with buyers who forgot shops are open most of the days (with 2-3 exceptions) and the much anticipated Apocalypse won’t come in 2011 or 2012 either.
Still, they buy an entire pig for 2 weeks of celebration, as if the entire army will dine at their table. Tens of kilos of meat, all kinds of sweets and way too much drink for a normal family. Even with many guests.
The Christmas trees are super-expensive these days and the decorations also raise the cost for a “proper” celebration to some huge numbers. Still, people buy. Instead of paying their rates, they purchase all kinds of nonsense, instead of SAVING money, they spend it all, instead of settling for a less “royal” holidays, they max their credit cards and will have to pay for months to come just for the pleasure of being a king for a day.
In my families we had “proper” celebration, when we could afford it. When times were rough, we just ate something less expensive but still home cooked and enjoyed being healthy and together. For the past years I can afford a pompous celebration, but have chosen not to. Instead of splashing money for 1 week of eating till you drop, we chose to just enjoy each others’ company and cook something good, that we know we all love. The money we don’t spend can be used in summer, when we vacation somewhere.
So, instead of paying for a Christmas tree we don’t really need (we’re all grown ups) and trying to buy presents, when we actually have everything we need now, we use the money in the summer, when it comes to going to a nice place, preferably near the sea, to have 12-14 days of uninterrupted happiness.
Many of my friends are shocked to hear we don’t celebrate “properly” and some have asked if we’re actually having financial problems. No, we just chose to lay low for these days and not spend in something we really don’t need. When we’ll have kids, it’s normal to reconsider and try to make the holidays beautiful for them. Right now, some excellent home cooked meals and being together make us happy.
How about you? Do you celebrate “properly”?
PS: Happy Holidays, BTW.