Remembering what it’s all about

I’ve just returned home from a failed attempt to do my usual weekly produce shop down at my local farmer’s market. I go most every Sunday to buy my fruit & veg, perhaps a little free-range meat, and catch up with the friendly faces. Not today though: today it was bedlam as the collective insanity that is Christmas hit the market at full force.

We seem to lose the plot a little at Christmas. I don’t know why. The market was jammed with festive season shoppers, forming huge queues to purchase must-have items like raspberries and cherries. I stood there, watching, feeling totally overwhelmed (I dislike crowds at the best of times) and wondering how much of the food they were buying would just end up as waste. Honestly, who needs 2 kg of raspberries, or 5 kilos of cherries (or in some cases, “and”)? Are they really going to be able to eat them all before they spoil? Who needs all that in one glut anyway, when the fruit will still be available next week, and the week after?

It was enough to get me feeling misanthropic, so I beat a hasty retreat home, brewed a pot of tea, put some calming oil in the burner and some soothing tunes on the stereo. Ah, so much better!

Please don’t lose the plot this Christmas. Remember it’s not about having the most heavily-laden table or all the seasonal goodies. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t found the perfect presents, or if you haven’t bought presents at all. No one cares if you’ve missed out on raspberries this year, or if the panforte didn’t set (sticky, but still delicious!). It’s about spending time with the people who matter to you and celebrating the things that really matter: family, friendship, love.

Please, remember what’s important this season. Be kind to people, slow down, smile. Take your neighbours something from your kitchen or garden. Be nice to the people working to serve you and remember to treat them like the human being they are. Say hello to people you pass on the street: go, on, make eye contact and say it like you mean it! Reach out to others and let them know you care. Take stock of just how lucky we are to be living this life, with all that we have, and do what you can to build the kind of world you want to live it, a place you’d be proud to pass on to your children.

All I want for Christmas this year is a better world: more sustainable, communal, joyful.

Day by day, it’s what I try to build. I think, perhaps, you’d like it too.


On that note, I’m taking some time out in January to focus my energy on other things. I wish you the very best over the holiday season, no matter what your beliefs, and look forward to what 2013 will bring. See you next year!

5 Comments on “Remembering what it’s all about

  1. Hi, I tend to agree. I’ve just wandered up to the local to buy a bottle of wine and anyone would think the pubs will be shut for a week, when in fact it’s only ONE day. I remember when the shops were actually closed Christmas and Boxing Day and even then people didn’t carry on the way they do now. Nor did they make the Christmas lunch/dinner such a full on feast, it was more about the company not the food. Anyway, I too am now away from the crowds and happier for it. Have a peaceful Christmas; and I do love your thoughts and blog. Regards Adriana

  2. I enjoyed visiting Farmers’ Market Saturday morning partly because it was a chance to give holiday greetings to a number of vendors who have become friends over the past year or two. We’ll miss the two women, a couple, who have sold lamb and wool from their farm but are retiring to spend more time with their grandchildren. The teenager we buy cheese from every week gave us a panettone (I can’t eat it, but Danny can, and that’s beside the point).

    Wishing you a great holiday season and New Year full of adventures:

  3. Well said Toni!

    We tend to be very simple around this time of year. And I hate to throw stuff out! My mum and grandmother never did that and I suppose it’s been instilled in me that particular habit of using everything and planning meals etc.

    I think these days Christmas is less about a bit of nice food and a few drinks with the people you like/love and more about keeping up with the Joneses, hence the massive spending.

    Have a fun and safe Christmas/new year break 🙂

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