Christmas contemplations

Christmas is always a bit weird to me to be honest. If I'm speaking for myself, I've been raised in two different families in two different episodes of my life and I suddenly got a third (big) family as late as when I was sixteen years old, so Christmas has always brought a certain type of ambivalent feeling to me. Being far from the families that remains (many of the key people from my childhood Christmases have passed away in recent years), this years Christmas* was for me a time of reflection more than anything else.

Now this was not what I wanted to speak about today, but I thought I'd might answer one of the questions I received on my previous post from yesterday. This one is from "Manolo":

"It would be interesting to hear what you see is the the difference 
between Christmas and New Year, and Christmas and your blog 
(which also is kind of commercial). Thanks!"

I realize that speaking about ideologies as this one, is as tricky as discussing politics with a group of mixed minds. People have different world-views and they are hard to move around once you're absolutely convinced of your personal standing. I haven't yet had the energy to confront the many upset republicans who urged me to explain myself when I made this post. But even if I did tell my view (which is that whomever it would have been that opposed Mr Romney and his old-fashion ideologies about what rights a woman or a homosexual should have 2012, he would have got my vote**, Obama in this case), republicans would still be upset with me because I didn't pay attention to the tax issue and the financial situation of the country. Questions which completely flew out of the window the moment I realized that a man with such huge influence and potential power, was suggesting that women shouldn't have the right to have control over their own lives and bodies. Even if I think it should be obvious that the bigoted mentality that Romney stands for shouldn't be embraced and promoted in a modern society in the twenty-first century, there will always be people who choose to put those particular questions aside and instead aim focus to something entirely different.

So back to the complexity of Christmas. I do believe that Christmas is a good tradition in the sense that family and friends can get together and enjoy good food and cozy moments in the company of each other, and that is the part of it that I enjoy. But on the other hand, I see the so called celebration as something utterly destructive in the sense that it creates such stress and pressure to many people for no real, legitimate reason. First of all we mustn't forget why our societies around the globe have decided to celebrate on each December 25th (24th in some cases) - and that is to commemorate the birth of Jesus. Now, I am not a believer of Jesus to begin with, but I can understand the ones of you who are and that this day might be a grand day for you in that aspect. But for me it is as alien to celebrate the birth of baby jesus as it is to get married and have children just because "everyone else does it". Furthermore, along these materialistic years of our existence, Christmas has sort of lost it's original, peaceful meaning, and instead become a commercialized event where stores put up Christmas music and decorations and begin to push gift items already in late summer, using Christmas as an excuse to run sales. 

The further we move (sail) away from the materialistic world, the more disgusted do I become of overconsumption in general. While Alex and I still enjoy good, qualitative things, we do not want the need of them to control or consume too much of our lives. I know that many people on this planet are trapped in the hysteria of constantly adding more products, clothes, gadgets and things to their lives, and I can only see that as something wasteful when I know there is a certain peace and fullness that comes with owning and wanting less. But of course, that is only my personal view and of course if material is important to you, you will naturally think I am a fool for suggesting a Christmas without the stress of decorating and maxing your credit card while supporting the stores and the whole commercial campaign that it is. 

After all this is said, it might be interesting for some to raise the question, "what is the different between Christmas as a commercialized institution, and our blog which obviously serves as a means of income through sponsored goods and advertising campaigns?" And while I in no way feel obliged to defend ourselves because one commercial phenomenon doesn't necessarily need to be connected to another, I can anyway share what I see is the difference for the ones who might see things differently. Firstly, this blog is not here to fool you to buy things for the sake of a greedy market and a twisted society, smartly covered in jolly red paper, jingle bells and old fat men with white long beard. You do not actually spend money on reading this blog but you visit this space because you want inspiration or a quick escape from your every day life. This blog is what you could compare with your favorite (or most hated in some cases) magazine which is supported by advertising and sponsored campaigns, because let's face it, a glossy magazine cannot support itself just by producing material and distributing the magazine to its readers. Just as we cannot sail around the world and share our story with you as frequently as we do just by sailing and writing about our experiences. Bonus for you though is that you don't even have to pay to read this magazine which you probably would need to do for a printed equivalent. And if you do not like the ads or the content of this blog, you are free to leave and never return. I think we've been pretty transparent with the way we make money through this blog and it should be quite obvious to you that you in no way are obliged to pay for the time you spend on here. But of course if companies are interested in showing themselves for our dear readers, they are more than welcome to pay us for the wide publicity we are able to offer and in that way we can continue sharing this journey with you all. You might see it with another sort of glasses, but we choose to think of it as a win-win situation where we all gain a piece of pleasure.

Just like most of you, we too must have a job that brings food to the table and this blog is one of the ways we have chosen as a way to support ourselves. But that doesn't in any way mean that I would feel the need of supporting a hysterical tradition that is only there to make us all spend as much money as we possibly can - because I simply don't see the point in it. But then again, that is only my side of the story and in whatever way you choose to spend this time of the year, it is totally up to you. Sometimes I just wished that more people would question the things that are happening around us in the society, rather than being yet another follower that does things just the way "they've always been done". A lot of stress and anxiety would be released from this world if more people would learn to do only the things that they truthfully felt were right and natural to themselves rather than paying too much attention to what we have been taught in school, media, church or on the streets of our local society.

And lastly, what do I see as the difference between New Year and Christmas? Well as long as it has no religious association or if it doesn't urge me to spend my money on things PLUS if there's a party to be had, how could I disapprove. The end of another year also quite brilliantly marks the start to a new beginning and you all should know how much I love new beginnings. Life is a beautiful wonder and we should find reasons to celebrate it as much as we can with the ones that we love without stress nor anxiety. Be it during Christmas, New Year or any other given day of the year.

* In many European countries we celebrate Christmas on the night of the 24th.
** My passive, mental vote that is as I am not American and thus am or were in no position to actually and physically give my vote in the election.