Because you all know how much I love the consumeristic season that is once again rushing towards us at the speed of a freight train, full of selfishness; debt; and spending; I thought I'd write out my wish list to Santa as a blog post.
For Christmas this year, I'd like to be able to walk through town and see people carrying their toddlers and laughing with them, instead of shouting and swearing at them while they lug heavy carrier bags full of plastic toys which will eventually end up as floating waste somewhere in the Pacific.
For Christmas this year, I'd like to see people giving each other time. It's something we never seem to have enough of. I want people to come round to my house for a hot drink and a chat and empty hands, instead of armfuls of presents and a hurried chat before rushing away.
For Christmas this year, I'd like to receive some simple things I need from people who can give them, but won't, because they're not "proper" presents. Such as haircuts for my kids and a fresh coat of paint in the boys' room.
For Christmas this year, I'm hoping that my family and friends will be happy with presents we're choosing to give: vouchers for home-cooked meals and homemade cake; fresh Christmas cookies; and time.
For Christmas this year, I'm most looking forward to individual hours spent with each of my children, shopping for necessaries for their siblings and continuing conversations about how much more important giving is than receiving. I'm looking forward to baking together and decorating the house for the season; and planning how we'll spend our St Nicholas money this year.
For Christmas this year, I'm hoping that our industrialised world's temporary frugality in the face of recession becomes a way of life. I'm hoping that the current trend towards simplicity is more than just a fad.
Because people are more important than stuff.
All of it.
Santa, you don't qualify, as you're not real. You're sadly nothing more than a validation to spend money we don't have on more stuff we don't need.
I'll be addressing any further correspondence to Nicholas, the patron saint of giving, instead of to you, the patron saint of receiving.