Fifth Day of Christmas

Five Rold Rings: About Spending too Much.

In this series of items the Twelve Days of Christmas traditional song is used to find inspiration for some Christmas Musings.

gift wrapped boxes
Five Gold Rings: Who Needs Them?
photo credit: stevendepolo

Who Needs Five Gold Rings?

So who actually needs Five Gold Rings? Wouldn’t one do? There’s not doubt that spending can be fun and it can be well deserved if we have some “disposable income” to er… dispose of. At the same time and never more so when we are thinking about Christmas spending, it can lead to a lot of pressure. We worry about how much to spend as well as what we buy for friends and family. We also can feel embarrassment when any reciprocal gifts are worth more than what we gave. How complicated it has become.

I heard recently on a television magazine programme, of one family who took the decision to limit all spending within the family to £10.00 each. This was a decision that everyone agreed to with a sense that Christmas spending for those people had become unrestrained and meaningless. The main question had become, “How much should I spend,” rather than, “What would make a nice gift.” The most interesting thing for me listening to the chap talking about it was that he also said that it made everyone think really hard about the present itself. The group brought some meaning back in to the sharing of gifts on Christmas Day.

Generosity Through the Year

But if we decided to take that approach to giving, how would we reconcile that with the kids? They would have to go back to their peers and show their £10.00 gifts with others who had the latest gifts and gizmos. Maybe they would feel that Santa had passed them by. Well, perhaps there’s nothing wrong with that! If the reason we have things or want things is because other people have them, then it might start to unbalance values and attitudes. Another response might be that giving a small gift at Christmas doesn’t rule out spending and generosity at other times through the year. It might also provide the opportunity to match giving to behaviour or more pressing need. How about contributing to driving lessons, or a reward for a good school report?.

Giving and receiving is a double sided coin or maybe even, a double edged sword! Have you ever been hurt because a gift was rejected or offended because something you received was inappropriate? The complexity of giving and generosity doesn’t end when the present is wrapped and decorated with a Christmas bow. Maybe what we miss is too much value attached to the thing and not enough attached to the act. Giving is a lovely thing to do and generosity can be lovely to benefit from. In the noise of modern Christmas, I wonder if we lose something important about the nature of material things?

I love Getting Nice Things!

I don’t want to sound like Scrooge and say that Christmas is all, “Bah, Humbug!” I love getting nice things but the best part of Christmas is being together with friends and family, taking time off, relaxing, and having fun together. The gifts we exchange will be replaced next year or sooner with newer, better things. They will lose their appeal and sparkle but the good times we have with others will build on pleasant memories and improve our sense that all is OK.

Get in Touch

This was written by Michele and you can contact her here.