Call me stingy or Mr Grinch,
Image Credit: Murray Campbell
I personally do not believe in buying presents for Christmas and I would prefer that my friends and family members not to get me gifts as well.
I wasn’t always like that. Like most of you, I would be literally pulling my hair out (that probably explains why I now spot a Number 1 “hair-cut”) when Christmas approaches. My head would be filled with questions. Who should I get presents for? Did I leave anyone out of the gift list? Would the person like the gift? Is the gift too cheap? Arrgh….the agony!
Still not sure what hit me……..that sort of explains the memory loss. I decided to stop buying Christmas presents!
I gathered everyone in the family and in a town hall setting, proudly announced that they would not be receiving any more Christmas presents from me and they should also stop doing so. You could imagine the horror, dejected and shock faces that were staring into and away from me.
Once the initial shock wore off, family being family then started to become concern and asked me if I was ok? Was something bothering me? Did I break up with my girlfriend?
In a matter of fact voice, I shared with them that I was sick and tired of the commercialisation of Christmas and wanted to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. It is true that I still love the beautiful Christmas lights (especially the light up in Orchard Road), melodious Christmas songs that filled the air and the overall feel of the season.
That year, we gathered everyone in the family to have a Christmas dinner together at my house. We shared the responsibilities of preparing the Teochew dishes and had an opportunity to learn from mum and grandma some of the recipes. And what is a Christmas dinner without roasted Turkey with stuffing of herbs and whatever it was? The turkey came out too dry and the taste was bland but the time spent together with your family members to research and figure out how to prepare the turkey is PRICELESS. That year was probably the best Christmas we ever had for a long time as we spend the evening re-connecting with each other, strengthening the family bonds. It was truly memorable. Oh…..my cupcakes came out pretty and tasty though J
My dad however still insisted buying me a gift for Christmas. I guess it was a habit that was hard to break. But I do notice that the gifts were getting more meaningful (and cheaper) in the sense that it can be shared amongst all of us within the family e.g. a nice bottle of cheap but reasonably nice wine or card games such as UNO and Happy Family.
The day I decided to stop buying Christmas presents was the day that I finally understood the true meaning of Christmas spirit i.e. the precious bond with family and friends.
Have a Joyous Christmas season everyone!