It's so easy to get carried away at Christmas time. The malls are buzzing, people are frantic and it's hard not to get swept up by the hype. You see trollies full to the brim with toys upon toys upon toys and, as a dear friend of mine mentioned the other day, it's hard not to feel guilty. Guilty for the handful of presents that will be sprinkled under your tree come Christmas morning. But when I think back on it, it really wasn't the amount of presents that made Christmas so exciting when I was a child. Sure, presents were part of it (I'd be lying if I said they weren't) but it was the lights, the carols, the tacky Christmas movies, the festive vibes and, more than anything, it was the magic. The magic is what it's all about for children.
This year was perhaps the most modest we have had. I mean, I always stick to the philosophy that 'less is more' when it comes to presents, but this year our 'less' was less than usual. Partly it was a conscious decision. And though I'd love to say it was all by choice, the other part was just simply out of necessity. I have to admit, there was a small part of me that felt bad about it. Like I was depriving them of something. Not that I believe that. At all. But still, it was there. And of course they didn't even notice, just like I knew they wouldn't. In fact, it was the most relaxing, stress-free, happiest Christmas I can remember. The kids spent all day playing with their new toys and eating and playing some more and just generally being unaware of, or even caring about, anything they didn't have.