Hard to believe that we have just entered the last month of 2013.
The Advent season has started here and for the past two weeks the Christmas markets in the town centers have been open. On the weekends hundreds upon hundreds of people- old and young- braving the weather fill the pedestrian zones, in search of presents for their loved ones.
Trying times for people who do not like huge crowds.
It is not just the streets that are over-run with shoppers and strollers, shops and shopping centers are jam packed with people, to such an extent, that it feels like one giant human traffic jam, from which there is no escape.
I ask myself if this is a pleasurable experience for my fellow man. How can you even think about choosing a present for a beloved person in your life?
Inside and out, Christmas music is playing in the background, I suppose, just to get people into the spirit of buying. Those ear-worms are an added torture to the surge.
In synch with the mood of giving and generosity, beggars of all kinds fill the city-center landscape. While trying not to crash into people who randomly stop right in front of you, or avoid running over toddlers (who can’t be seen in the mob), you also have to dodge cups thrust in your face.
Some people connect the smells of the Christmas markets with the true spirit of Christmas…how that works for them is beyond me! Mulled wine, candied peanuts, Brat-and Currywurst, waffles, Lebkuchen and beer combined with the sounds and sights of their consumers provoke a complete sensory assault in me.
Statistically seen, it is said that the average German will spend roughly 288 Euros a person on Christmas presents…
Is there a statistic for how appreciated the given gifts were? Right after Christmas the city swells again with throngs of people, trying to return what they received… OMG, that means the town centers will not be safe till mid January. Not to mention the corners of closets and basements which will harbor those preciously chosen presents, never to see the light of day again!
We live in a materialistic world, where we equal the amount spent on someone with the love and tenderness we feel for them.
I am not just saying this because I will not be one of the average people who will spend the statistically calculated median amount(cause I don’t have the means), but because I truly believe that we should all learn to be satisfied and appreciate what we already have.
Little gestures and time spent with the ones we love, create lasting memories which we will all cherish for years to come. Much more than anything bought in a store.
Pay tribute to the ones you love!