Kirstie Clements: Why Christmas done different might not be a bad thing

Many people reported on cutting down on their Christmas plans or gift giving because of financial stress. Photo: Getty

Many people reported on cutting down on their Christmas plans or gift giving because of financial stress. Photo: Getty Photo: Getty

One of the things I love about how fast things move nowadays is that you can decide something isn’t a thing anymore and then never give it another thought.

All those traditional societal notions, like white wedding dresses and diamond engagement rings and expensive cars and even Christmas, apparently, have become optional.

I was talking to an editor friend about traffic issues that had caused her to be late for a lunch, and suggested she have one of her junior staff drive her.

“None of them have their licence,” she said. I forgot about that.

This generation just went, “Nah expensive cars aren’t important, take an Uber” and then booked a ski holiday in Korea.

My sons very much share this thinking, because when I called to ask what they would like on the Christmas menu, I was told that we would be having the family lunch with their girlfriends on Christmas Eve, not Christmas Day and that the theme will be Italian.

No one in our family or our extended family, by the way, is Italian.

“Mortadella and burrata and tiramisu” said one son, which would have come as a great surprise to my Scottish grandmother, who every Christmas Eve was in the kitchen, sloshed on whisky and making the pudding and turkey stuffing.

Salad with mortadella and burrata

It’ll be mortadella and burrata instead of turkey and stuffing this year for Kirstie and kin.

We don’t have a festive tree or ornaments.

There will be no wrapping paper and ribbons and cute tags, because save the planet, and in terms of presents, everybody just wants their online order of Bed Threads paid for.

I put a wreath on the front door of our apartment to try and add a little bit of seasonal cheer, but my husband took it down because he thought it looked like there had been a mafia hit.

So, I give up. Rigatoni it is.  Maybe a Christmas panettone will finally make sense.

But it can also be sad to see some traditions go.

I was disappointed that most of the windows in the David Jones store in Sydney’s CBD had been handed over to Louis Vuitton this year.

Shame on David Jones

Taking the children to look at the wonder that was the David Jones’ Christmas windows was certainly a longstanding Australian tradition, all those wonderful animated and mechanical scenes and themes each year that provided a magical, (and free) family outing.

I like a Louis Vuitton bag as much as the next person, but I’m pretty sure most families aren’t sitting around going “Weeeee kids, let’s go see a Louis Vuitton Christmas”.

The rampant materialism of Christmas is often criticised, but I feel like it has reached its peak when a French luxury house, which already has a giant multi-level flagship several 100 metres away, can force the Christmas cheer out of an iconic department store’s window.

So let’s raise a glass (in my case prosecco) to Christmas, and however we all choose to celebrate – hopefully surrounded by friends and loved ones.

It’s been a tough couple of years, so the idea of doing whatever you please, and just be in the moment, is refreshing.

Buon Natale.

Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter.
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.