The funny thing about Christmas for me is the different sides of people it brings out. Personally, I love handing out presents. Not that that’s especially surprising in my case, I’m always happy to buy a round when we’re out and spend some money. But I enjoy the stress of choosing the perfect present and even the horrors of wrapping those awkward presents.
In fact, I love giving more than receiving but this year I’ve had other commitments which has meant that going home (two weeks before Christmas) was my present to my parents.
Many might say that Christmas is when you realise your real friends: those who buy you presents. Unless you’re doing Secret Santa of course. I remember my first (almost) experience of Secret Santa, I refused to take part because no-one wanted to select me and instead got called greedy because they were “forced” to buy me individual presents. It’s not a great high school memory.
That’s besides the point of course.
But now it’s almost five years later. I don’t speak to those friends anymore. In fact, I don’t even have them on Facebook. I’ve come to university and met new friends- and yet, still, the drama ensues.
This year I’m staying at university on my own since work wouldn’t allow me to have enough time off to justify going home; the biggest problem of going to university in England when you’re from the Isle of Man. Instead, I went home two weeks ago (and even that was enough effort!) and brought all my presents back with me. I didn’t get anything massively expensive, my big present was a Kindle Fire with a pink cover which I got to open at home. The rest consisted of a new dressing down, bed socks, money, PJs and alcohol. But when people hear that you’re spending Christmas alone, even those people you don’t consider yourself particularly close to, start inviting you to spend Christmas Day with them and their families. For most, Christmas really is the time for giving.
I really did hope that not going home would mean I’d be cut out of the traditional Christmas drama. Instead, though I did avoid any family drama and even got a “Merry Christmas” Facebook message off my little sister, not everyone is quite as forgiving as I’d imagine at this time of year. In fact, they choose this time of year to be particularly aggressive by using the likes of Twitter to bring up old issues. Issues I made the mistake of thinking had been forgiven and forgotten.
So I guess they’re right: Christmas is a time when you realise who your real friends are. But it’s not from the presents you get, it’s not wanting the tech-iest, classiest, top of the range, new gadget on the block. It’s a time of coming together with friends and family, whether you’re lucky enough to be spending time in the same room or not. It could be about that simple “Merry Christmas” text/Facebook status/Twitter message.
So Merry Christmas everyone, and don’t let any petty drama ruin your day!