Christmas Is Cancelled Part Two.
On the twelfth of November 2017 I wrote on ABC Tales, “Christ mas Is Cancelled,” This is part two.
A lot has happened in those short four years, gradually when I spoke to people individually over why, in the coming months, many people agreed with me, and some wished they had the courage to cancel Christmas too. My brother soon after, he also stopped buying Christmas gifts for his adult children and now he only buys for his grandkids, and no one else. My life is richer, literally. I have saved SO much money, I don’t have to fret about, “Balance buying,” My word for trying to match the price of the gift that a friend would buy me, of the same value. I remember being so skint, that one year everyone had soap bought from TKMaxx, costing three pounds each. Another year I was tempted to use my Argos credit card to buy everyone’s gifts, but my Mum came to the rescue, and from where she lives abroad, sent me £200. With that I was able to buy gifts for everyone. And before I cancelled Christmas, my wage was on the 21st of each month and January was very, very difficult, with all my bills direct debit, it was a lean time indeed. I would put my worries in my daily journal and cry, sometimes the fear was too much. But I believe in, one day at a time and prayer. Everyone is different, I don’t know if I could cope without prayer, but others cope without it, and some so very well.
Now although Christmas is cancelled, birthdays stay the same. I used to send a cheque, now I simply transfer it from my bank account to theirs. Only people two get Christmas gifts, money of course, my best friend’s son, he has down syndrome and my little grandson. My two adult kids, they still give me wonderful Christmas gifts, I try to explain to them when they ask me, “What do you want for Christmas Mum?” My reply for years has always been the same, “Money to spend in TKMaxx or a TKMaxx voucher,” I’m SO easy to buy for, they get me what I ask for and add on other items too. I get them nothing, I explain it clearly in my story in part one. I give everyone money, that way they can buy exactly what they want and a bought gift, is not then wasted and kept in the back of their wardrobe.
I have worked at the same company now for almost thirty years, I unlike most of my colleagues have worked at three different sites, most have not worked as long as I have, for the company. The best site was seventeen miles away from my home, I loved it there, but I decided five years ago to stop working there, and mainly work at the site that is ninety seconds from my home. The third site is twenty minutes’ walk in the snow, for I don’t drive in the snow, or around six minutes in the car. That is the strictest place I have ever worked in my life! But I love it there too. Last year in February, was the last time I was at the third site, the day the Manager left, she was a nice hardworking lady. Another very hardworking young lass, who I respect and always said of her, “She could run that place,” She became the new Manager. Three months ago, my manager said to me, “Claire needs you, she is short staffed,” I said, “OK I will go over and help,” So, I work at both places, and working over there, I’ve got to know them all over again, it was lovely to see them all again, and they were thrilled to see me. In total I have worked there, when they needed me, for about nine years.
One of the ladies, gave me a Christmas gift, I wished she didn’t, but she does every year, when a Staff if coming over to the main site where I work, they bring her gift to me and others who work with me, so we might not get it in, December but March or May.
I thought after I got her gift, I will open it when I get home, it was a lovely candle in a glass jar with the price still on. And others had said to me, “I will buy you a gift in December,” But I genuinely didn’t want them to.
I decided to then go to, TKMaxx and buy them all a small token gift, in my mind I wanted to spend two pounds, all the same item, eleven in all. I thought what can I get for everyone, and I decide on a nice small tube of hand cream. So, on Friday, I went there and they had nothing for that price, everything was three pounds or more, after all it is Christmas time when people go to spend, spend, spend, the prices go up and extra gifts fill the store. I then looked at the lovely soaps, but they too were three pounds or more for one. Then I thought, I had a brainwave and when I got to the tea towel section, I saw a lovely pack of two the brand was Ladinne but they were five pounds, I looked at another, that one was called Raine and Humble, this also was a pack of two, I thought I could separate them and wrap one and give to them all individually because everyone uses a tea towel, but I tried to imagine their faces when they opened it, even though technically the gift would be worth more than two pounds, but for eleven people it would cost me more than I had planned. I decided tea towels were not a good idea.
Next, I moved on to speciality jams, in the pack of three there was raspberry preserve, breakfast marmalade and strawberry preserve, but I decided against it because the pack was six pounds, and I didn’t know who, if everyone, likes marmalade, which I love and that would be a wasted gift, if they didn’t use it.
I moved on up the aisle and saw packs of three, hot chocolate, but when I looked closer, in each it was, milk chocolate cocoa, double chocolate cocoa and peppermint cocoa, which no one would want the latter and at nine pounds for the pack, it was far too expensive.
I continued to wonder around the store, usually I am happy and relaxed and enjoying looking for linen and cotton clothes to dye, but this evening wasn’t for this. I did start to reason, no one knew I was going to buy them a gift anyway, so there was no need to stress myself unnecessarily. But I wouldn’t give up, and carried on aimlessly wondering around, on the verge of giving up and it was then I saw them, lots of them and I just knew, I had found the perfect little gift to say, “Hi, you are not forgotten,” This gift was the perfect price of just under two pounds, and it was a unisex gift, loved by one and all. There was a very large selection of them, I have them every day with my first cuppa, biscuits. I bought three of the Wallace and Gromit’s oat and honey, light and crumbly suitable for vegetarians, as I knew the colleagues, Richard, Anthony, and Tony are. They were one fifty each. I also bought eight packs of French biscuits, Galet de Quimper, traditional shortbread with Brittany butter.
It all felt right, I also brought a lovely roll of non-Christmas paper, while I was there. Later on, I wrapped all the biscuits with the one roll. I didn’t break the bank; my quest was over and for that I was happy.