By Mark Teale on 5 December 2018
We all know that from a physics and time perspective, there is always a period of 12 months between Christmas celebrations - unless you also like to celebrate Christmas in July as well.
However, regardless of what sciences tell us, I am sure I am not alone in thinking that it does not feel like 12 months since Christmas 2017.
Every year, the 12 months in between festive season does appear to become shorter, except of course if you are an 8-year-old child when the last few weeks before Christmas morning seems to take an eternity!
You know Christmas is getting closer when the junk mail in your letterbox doubles, the Christmas decorations begin to appear in the shops, Santa is everywhere, Michael Buble and Mariah Carey release Christmas CDs and families begin to argue over where Christmas lunch or dinner will be this year. Who is in charge of the Christmas ham? The roasted pork, chickens, or for my vegan friends, the roast cauliflower?
Christmas for me this year will be a little different. My mum is now a permanent resident of a nursing home and not overly happy about the situation. She is far healthier now than when she was living independently, which is great. However, I can see she is frustrated, angry and I believe frightened by what she sees as her future when she observes those other residents in the home whose dementia is far worse than hers.
So, the challenge this year for me and the rest of the family is to try and make sure that mum enjoys her Christmas with as many of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren is possible. It is a sad fact of life that for mum this could be the last Christmas she is able to comprehend and understand.
So, this will be my Christmas, not overly exciting, but important for me and the rest of my family.
No, I am not going to stand on my soapbox and tell you that being with your family is the true meaning of Christmas, that would be wrong, everyone has a different opinion.
However, if you do allow me to pass on one opinion for you to think about; regardless of the amount of junk mail you receive in your letterbox, I do not believe that Christmas is meant to be about you spending large amounts of money and then stressing over how you are going to meet the necessary repayments on your credit card in January.
Try to avoid the fastest growing Christmas tradition - repaying this year’s Christmas’s debt just in time to restart the process all over again in December of the following year.
Don’t get me wrong, I love buying Christmas presents for those important people in my life, but I do limit the total debt to an amount I know I can repay in full by the end of January not December of the following year.
One last point, please do avoid the payday lenders who you see advertising in the media about how easy it is to get your hands on the money to make this Christmas special, it may be easy to get the money but repaying it will be a nightmare and that special Christmas feeling will disappear very quickly.
I can guarantee that next year’s Christmas will be a lot nicer if you are not paying off last year’s Christmas debt.