The Dreaded Christmas List

October 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Christmas Tips, Featured

At some point in November, children across the globe sit down and thoughtfully pen their letter to Santa. For many parents, this is a moment of horror, when the desires of our children are laid out. Particularly in tough economic times, a dollar-demanding list can be a cause of high anxiety. Given that we naturally want our children to have what they want, many parents will get into debt this Christmas trying to meet their children’s requirements.

To try and prevent such a crisis, there needs to be some ground rules. Naturally, your children are not to know these are ground rules as such – after all, Santa is making the toys, you’re not buying them – but the spirit is the same. Before they make their list, tell your kids that Santa is very busy this year and only has time to make a set number of presents. Allocate each child the same number, and tell them they have to stick to it, with one alternate.

Children may not like this, but it’s necessary if you want to avoid debt following the Christmas holiday. It also teaches children a good lesson in channeling their desires to get what they really want; something which will come in useful in later life. Of course, if you find you have a little more cash than you’d expected, you can always add gifts. By asking them to prioritize, you can be sure that more effort and thought will go into the list than if they had just written down everything they could think of.

Christmas Traditions: Not Essential, But Often Worthwhile

October 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Christmas Time, Featured

There is no right and no wrong way to celebrate Christmas. At least, where Christmas is concerned you do not have to stay with the traditional ways. After all, one of the major messages of Christmas is peace and goodwill. It would be absolutely wrong to start introducing rules as to what constitutes an acceptable form of revelry, above and beyond those already laid down by the law of the land. As long as you stick to the laws which exist, your Christmas can take any form you deem acceptable.

That said, there is a reason that the traditions have become traditional. When the first Christmas mince pies were produced, it is likely that the baker who cooked them had no idea just how much a part of Christmas they would become in many countries. People eat them, however, because they like them. Equally, it is not essential to have a tree in your house for the Christmas period – but people do, and have done for many years it does give a certain festive cachet to the whole occasion.

The main thing to keep in mind about the festive period is that people are supposed to enjoy themselves, and this should not be controlled by an insistence on maintaining traditions. The one tradition that should always be upheld at Christmas is that people are kind to one another and find a way to get along, even with those people they would ordinarily not speak to. As for the rest of it, people will find their own way.

Dreaming Of A Snowy Christmas

October 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, Get Ready For Christmas

Whenever you receive a Christmas card, or watch a television Christmas special, there is one thing which seems to unite them all – the presence of snow. This is something that has become as much a part of the Christmas message as anything. Perhaps it is because it looks so welcoming and bright and pure. Perhaps it is because it makes the scene immediately identifiable as a winter one, and therefore links it to Christmas. But there are many people in the English-speaking world who have never seen a White Christmas, and wonder when they will.

It depends, of course, where you live. Because it is in the Southern Hemisphere, Australia has Christmas in the middle of its climatic summer. As well as this, Australia is a temperate country anyway, so the chances of snow at Christmas are roughly equivalent to those of a 100-degree heatwave in New York in January. Even in the United Kingdom, which is known for its cold winters, snow tends to hold off until January for whatever reason. Though cold enough, the snow just doesn’t seem to have that sense of timing.

Nonetheless, whether you live somewhere that gets snow reliably just in the run-up to Christmas and then all the way through, or somewhere where it is unlikely to ever happen, the fact remains that, as a symbol of the day and the period, snow is something that is inextricably linked with Christmas. This holds true wherever you are, and is why we all know what Bing Crosby was singing about.