I don’t know about you, but I’m really in the Christmas mood: I’ve been sitting writing my cards, listening to Christmas music and eating mince pies. I love this time of year: the parties, watching sloppy films, eating lots of nice food and most of all remembering people you’ve not been in touch with and reconnecting.
For me Christmas is all about personal connections and spending time with friends and family; I love the warmth of it all. But I really dislike the commercialisation of it.
Coming from Holland where there isn’t the tradition of giving gifts at Christmas, I was appalled when I first came here and saw how much people feel pressured into buying lots of gifts for lots of people – it feels like commerce has taken it all over (in Holland we give gifts on St Nicholas Day on 5th December, and usually everyone just gets one present for one person, and you do a little poem or surprise with that – and we spend an evening together, reading out the poems and stories).
A lot of companies also use Christmas as a way to get more business, to schmooze their clients, but personally I don’t like that.
I don’t even send cards to my clients as I’d rather send them something personal at another time of the year to show them how much I appreciate them. It’s a bit tricky because English people are used to it, and I think perhaps that makes me a bit of an odd one out, or that maybe people think I’m a bit weird, or mean. It’s not that, it’s just for me sending Christmas cards is for family and friends, and gifts are too.
I’ve come to really enjoy Christmas in England, with my new English family and lovely friends, but I would feel bad to hijack Christmas for business reasons.
So I wish for my clients and for everyone, a business-free Christmas that is full of family, love, peace and time out. Have a very good Christmas!