The ‘c’ word

So, apparently now that it is November, it’s perfectly fine to start banging on about Christmas… specifically about Christmas shopping. We enter a period where consumerism is king and if you don’t want to participate you are considered weird.

However, I don’t like it and I’m not joining in. So, please consider me weird.

A random present

A random present – one of you will recognise this!

We gave up giving and receiving Christmas presents years and years ago and so, the frenzy of shopping that many are indulging in, or preparing for, or bragging about is not a part of my autumn. I’m currently in the process of making a present for someone, but that will be dispatched once completed for immediate enjoyment and will have nothing to do with any sort of pseudo-religious shenanigans.

I have been told many times that if I had children, I would be obliged to participate, but I don’t, so it’s not relevant. And I think that my nieces and nephew (although no longer children) and my other friends and family rather enjoy the random arrival of gifts when the mood takes me and inspiration hits.

As usual this year, we’ll not be shopping and we’ll not be seduced into buying junk just for the sake of giving presents. I really encourage you to do the same. However, if you do want to lavish gifts on your nearest and dearest (and not-so nearest and dearest), please think about what you buy – make sure it isn’t something that gets opened and then never looked at again, or something that’s made in a sweatshop, or something that’s funny for ten minutes but ends up in the dustbin….

That’s it, I’m not going to say any more… grumpy snail is off to cook dinner!

Leave a comment


  1. Ann Pole

     /  November 2, 2015

    Many of our pressies have been made by the Snail of Grumpiness….. 🙂

  2. HAHAHAHA! I think I just found out where the grinch lives ;). Seriously, there are alternatives to consumer “C” word. Stevie-boy and I have had a wonderful Christmas for years without spending much more than our regular shopping budget. We are not giving gifts this year but last year we made them. I guess it really depends on what you are actually celebrating at “C”. Some people have a valid reason for wanting to celebrate because for them, it’s a very important date on their calendar. For most people it’s just a chance to consume with a capital “C!” and you are right to be grumpy about that. I think you might relax your grumpiness a little bit when it comes to those who would like to celebrate in a sustainable way on a small scale Ms Snail ;).

    • I am delighted for Christians to celebrate Christmas and the rest of us to cheer up the dark winter months (at least here in the northern hemisphere) and I love giving presents… but I hate the obligation to buy all sorts of tat for everyone and the fact that most of it is driven by businesses intent on profit.
      Your amigurumi last year, however, was almost enough to want a you to be my Santa!

      • Ditto on all of your gorgeous creations. I totally agree about mass consumerism and how the masses blindly follow the pied piper of marketing over the friggin’ cliff! I HATE people buying shite for the sake of it and any celebration that gives cause for that kind of abject consumerism gets me going. I just had to play devils advocate there as there are some people for whom the “C” word is sacred. The rest of us slide up and down on the scale of what it means I guess.

  3. The hubs and I exchange gifts, but neither of us get into the madness that is Christmas shopping. When we lived nearer to his parents, we would exchange gifts with them because… tradition. I have four grown children and four grown nieces and a plethora of grand-nieces and nephews. All of them get a card, maybe a gift card if we can afford it. Not because I’m stingy but because they all live far away and we can’t afford the shipping. I think if they lived closer they might get something (clothes or something).

    We’re so not into the whole “everyone in your life should get a gift — even the mail carrier” vibe that goes around. That’s just… wrong. We think that only your nearest and dearest should get gifts. But I will decorate because I love to decorate for the holidays — any holiday from Christmas to Halloween. I don’t put my Christmas stuff up until the weekend after Thanksgiving though (fourth Thursday in November) because I think any sooner is too soon.

  4. I really cannot remember what I had for Christmas or for birthdays when I was a child (or even most of the ones when adult) so instead of spending money on presents for my family, which they would equally quickly forget, I give a token, hand made present and each year organise and pay for an ‘experience’ which we all share. Last year was my eldest granddaughter’s 18th so I took us all beach riding in Pembrokeshire – something I knew she wanted to do. In fact almost all of them then came for Christmas so each got a home made stocking filled with small bits and bobs as well. This year it is tickets to the Celts exhibition at the British museum followed by afternoon tea. Hopefully these memories will last long after the consumerist tat has gone to landfill.

  5. I am of like mind. I won’t even leave the house on Black Friday. Too much craziness out there. Do you have Black Friday in the UK?

    • Black Friday has started to appear in the UK… I had to have it explained to me a couple of years ago because I had no idea what it was. I avoid such things at all costs.

  6. The Fella and I have started to give his granddaughters experiences too. They have every possible thing in the material world. I often wonder if they ever look at these things again after the mad flurry of opening them on Christmas morning. So we take them somewhere, like The circus. Must think about what we will do this year…..

    • I think that, for many, the initial thrill of owning an object is all that there is. I know of so many people who are given all they wished for on Christmas Day and then rush off to the sales on Boxing Day… how sad.

      • Very sad. And I think that, during the Boxing Day Sales, many also take back the presents they were given. Something I could never do. A present given to me is a present chosen for me and therefore has special connections to the giver.

  7. We’ll do what I have done for the last 5 or more years, and give to charity instead of our nearest and dearest.
    Oxfam, for things like clean water for African communities, seeds, healthcare lessons, treestock, animals. Aussie Helpers, to get desperately needed feed to farmers whose animals are starving because they’ve had no rain for 6 years or more, or supermarket vouchers because their families are going hungry, or school fees for their kid’s boarding schools (most of these farms are hundreds of kms from the nearest community).
    We do it at Christmas, because it’s traditional to give at Christmas, because I still have an affection for the Christian festival, and because many of those who receive the help particularly appreciate it at Christmas.

  8. I don’t mind if you are grumpy! I agree about the commercialism and don’t go there- though we are ‘doing’ Christmas this year at the behest of my youngest as it may be the last time we are able to be altogether for it and my girls have happy memories of their childhood Christmases as done Southern Hemisphere style………….. Maybe I’ll write a post about it 🙂

  9. Love, love, love your post! I’m right there with you! I have children and oodles of grandchildren and nieces and nephews and I don’t join in with the whole commercial nonsense AT ALL! I only ‘do’ Christmas every other year (I go away to Xmas free zones every other year or happily spend the day alone, last year it was so sunny I gardened) and on the years I am with my family the little ones get something silly I have made and the adults do secret Santa so we all only buy one gift. My family have always considered me weird and were quite grumpy with me about my attitude for years, but they have learnt to tolerate me and can binge on the years when I go away!

  10. Reblogged this on Wild Daffodil and commented:
    So refreshing to find a like-mind! Thank you Mrs Snail!

  11. Wise words Jan. I don’t apply any pseudo -religious meaning to Christmas as I know it’s just a pagan festival adopted to bring people to the new Christianity. I like Christmas because I like buying gifts. Yes, I’ll give random gifts throughout the year if the mood takes me or if I see something really appropriate for someone, but Christmas is the time I see all the family and get to show them they’re in my heart and not forgotten. It’s a time of getting together
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  12. I make our presents, most people get a ‘food-hamper’ of chilli jam, posh cheese, and whatever I feel like making that year (this year it will be homemade marshmallows and I’m going to try my hand at macarons). It’s a way to actually use up all the jam we make throughout the year….

  13. Amen, sister! I love the grumpy snail–and couldn’t agree more! Our family is the same–we get together as we can at the holidays but don’t give gifts at all. We all have enough money to buy what we want when we want it (lucky us!) and feel quite smug about not engaging in the frenzy.

  14. I have opted out of obligation gifts as well. I do like making presents for people I know because I think of them while I work.

  15. Mr Night Owl and I breathed a huge sigh of relief on our first Non-christmas, and have done so every year since.
    To get free of that commercialised madness must be the best present we ever gave ourselves 🙂
    Our daughter does her own thing with her huge gang of friends, so doesn’t miss out on her fun, and said to us, a few years after we stopped the madness, that she didn’t mind us not doing the christmas thing, as she’s had more presents from us throughout the year – and things that she’s really needed – than when we used to save it all for the holiday season!
    I think there are actually more people out there who would love to stop the madness, than will admit to it 🙂

    • It’s funny how people get drawn into it. Several people have asked me how we manage it… and I don’t really know how to answer… I mean, no one is actually holding a gun to your head!!

      • Too True 🙂
        It’s really sad that we’re made to feel almost like freaks because we choose to abstain from the commercial madness, but while we still have free will, we will always choose to go down our own route to peace and harmony – without the sleigh bells, thank you! Lol

  16. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be able to ignore Christmas! But I work in retail, so we jumped straight from “summer tourist season” to “jingle bells”. At least my employers have the decency not to run a Boxing Day sale! So, I will be looking forward to the minute I leave work and head for home, where my family and I will celebrate with a modest dinner, some home made wine and, most importantly, PEACE AND QUIET! I’m glad to see so many people here taking a moderate approach to the so-called festive season, it often seems to me that it gets madder every year!

  17. We’re weird too! And it’s great. M


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