Christmas... yes it is that time of year again. I must admit that I am more Hum-Hum-Humbug than Ho-Ho-Ho but the spirit of Christmas is certainly praiseworthy.
It has been said that 'Christmas is about buying things for people that we don't like with money we don't have', worse still it is probable that the recipients of your grudging largess don't even want nor need your gift either.
It is tempting to think that countries everywhere celebrate Christmas in exactly the same way that we do, this is not necessarily so, however it is true that the cynical commercialisation of Christmas is worming its way into an increasing number of cultures.
It may be considered that as the UK is a none-secular Christian country it is odd that we seem to have almost entirely divorced Christmas from Christianity while many secular countries observe the festive season with much greater reverence for Christ.
Before Christianity reached our shores, this time of year was celebrated as being the winter solstice, many Pagans uphold that the early Christian Church adopted December 25th to celebrate Christ's birth simply because they found that everyone was having a party at that time of year already. There is academic debate over the actual historic birth date of Christ.
Observing a line of proud parents with their excited children awaiting admittance to Santa's Grotto will often reveal several participants whose attire indicates that their personal religious observance is not Christian. I love it, I'm happy that Christmas has grown into a multi-cultural happening...something to cheer everyone up during the winter.
Sadly, while Christmas in the UK has moved somewhat from its religious roots it has continued to become more and more of a commercial opportunity to be capitalised upon by business.
Bottles of overpriced bubble bath and talc in a fancy box handed to a miserable Aunty or gushingly worded Christmas cards posted to people who we don't meet from one year to the next are aspects of Christmas that could be assigned to history without loss.
The recent economic troubles that many have felt the influence of in recent years has lead some people to give more practical gifts, but this is likely to be a passing phase to be re-replaced with the usual frippery.
Christmas is Love
The true spirit of Christmas - love of one's fellow man, remains one of the delights of the festive season. Unfortunately by the time that New Year has passed we have returned to behaving like rabid dogs while behind the wheel of our car and like beaten suspicious puppies when walking in the street. Wouldn't it be nice if the 'fellowship and goodwill to all men' of Christmas lasted all year round?
How about making this Christmas different? Instead of buying some useless something for your elderly relative why not spend an hour chatting with them instead - they would enjoy it more, and so might you. It would be even better if you could give them a hug and tell them that you love them, it is something that we all never do often enough!
As an alternative to buying your partner something that is more expensive than you can afford and receiving something equally as wasteful in return - how about agreeing to make a joint charitable donation as your gift to each other? Spread your love to people who are in need, you have no idea how good it feels!
So what has any of the above have to do with vaping? Well, it is a general plea to celebrate Christmas in a spirit of kindness and love - and what better way is there to love someone than to help save their life?
As a vaper you are an ex-smoker, there is a good chance that some (maybe many) of your friends and family are still smoking. Many of these people will have tried some second-rate cig-a-like ecig and decided that it wasn't a good enough alternative to smoking.
Christmas is a great opportunity to introduce smoking friends and family to the healthier world of vaping. I'm not suggesting that you just buy them a starter kit for Christmas which may just end up languishing in a draw unused - what I would like to encourage you to do is spend some time with someone who smokes and make the effort to demonstrate how good a decent ecig is as an alternative to smoking. Tell them that you love them and that it matters to you that they try to quit. Assure them that you do not want to have to visit them as they lie dying in hospital of some horrible smoking related disease.
If you still want to buy them something in addition to bestowing the Christmas spirit of love and kindness upon them, then how about a decent ecig starter kit to use? It is not enough just to give it to them though; you need to explain to them why you have bought it for them. As it is a gift from you, it may also be possible to embarrass them into using the ecig instead of smoking. Even better, with New Year being a traditional time for resolutions to quit smoking, your gift and your encouragement could be just what they need to succeed.
I can't think of anything better to give someone for Christmas than a smoke free future.
Reject Santa Socks!
Every year I collect a bag of well-meant Christmas gifts into a sack and drop them off at the local charity shop, it is such a waste! But honestly, when ever would I really need a pair of red and white socks with a Santa on them?
It would be greatly to your own benefit to persuade anybody that intends to buy you something for Christmas that anything from a nice bottle of e-liquid up-to a rebuildable atomiser or VV/VW mod could be a suitable gift that would be warmly appreciated by you. They are likely to welcome the suggestion too, because I am sure that they also hate to see their money wasted on more of those socks that they have never seen you wearing.