Christmas is over for another year… FINALLY!
Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with loved ones, relaxing after a long year, and simply enjoying the warmth of Summer (that’s right, Northern Hemisphere people, we have a lovely warm Summer for Christmas!) but one thing I DO NOT look forward to each year is the crazy obsession that is Christmas shopping!
Somehow every year it gets worse, and I vow never to go near a shopping centre in the month of December, and yet more and more people are leaving it until the day before Christmas to do the shopping. To get the perfect little something that apparently says so much about the person they are buying it for.
Even though for the past 4 years now I have made my own presents, I still get roped into going shopping, and have the misfortune of circling for 45 minutes to park (or walk over 4 blocks and across endless car parks to get into the bedlam.
It seems so many more people each year are forgetting the true meaning of Christmas, and simply helping the Chinese economy in the process… Christmas is about being with your loved ones. About sharing, doing good for your fellow man (or woman!) and of course, to share gifts with each other. These gifts do not have to be extravagant, or over the top. I do not expect any gifts like this, or any at all, to be honest… and I rarely give expensive presents to anyone (no, not because I am cheap…) but because I prefer to make my presents.
For the past 3 years (excluding this year) I have recorded my own CD, mostly consisting of covers of famous songs, and given copies to my close friends and family. I play the guitar, percussion, bass, vocals and keyboards on them. Now I know they are not perfect, and I usually type this on the cover somewhere that “this CD should not be taken seriously”, and whilst the do not cost me a lot of money to make, they do take a long time. usually all year (including a mad dash in November to complete them on time, as I usually slack off in July)
This year, I decided (as I had only recorded 5 new songs for the CD) that I would give framed photographs to people. I only made up a few, unlike the CDs, as they do cost a fair bit more, however each photo was taken by myself, chosen specifically for the person, edited and enhanced in Photoshop, before printing and framing for them. As I have been overseas this year for the first time, there were literally thousands to choose from! Although it was a simple gift to give, the people who have received them so far have been very impressed, and a few were even emotional.
A photo can be a very emotional item to give as a gift. One person received a photo of them with their first grandchild, on the child’s 1st birthday. It was a candid shot, and he had no idea that I had taken it, but was very proud to have received it, showing it to everyone who walked in the door that day, and will most-likely be taking it to work for his desk when he returns. Another received a photo from my trip to Japan. The photo was of a row of stone lanterns, lined against the shores of Miyajima, overlooking the Otorii Gate. The photo reminded her of her trip there in the 1970s, to the exact same place, which has remained unchanged by modern standards. She was very grateful for the shot, as it brought back all the happy memories of her trip, all those years ago. It shows what photos and slides of that era cannot show anymore. clarity, vibrance and colours that could not be reproduced in 1970.
So now, Christmas is over, I am thinking of what to do for next years presents. Most likely I will do another CD, as quite a few people have asked me for this years one, not realising that I am not doing it this year… who knew I had created a mini-fan base?
Oh well, I guess recordings will have to begin in February! 🙂