01/12/2014 15:55 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Have We Lost The Christmas Spirit?

Employees try to control customers as they attempt to get the last remaining LED televisions during a Black Friday discount sale at an Asda supermarket, operated by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in the Wembley district of London, U.K., on Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. Black Friday has caught on in the U.K. and worldwide over the last few years as the rise of the Internet has made the event a global phenomenon, with customers always being just one click away from the deals offered by U.S. retailers online. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Picture the scene: you're in a crowded toy shop, and the man in front of you has muscled his way through the sea of people and is heading straight towards the last Frozen Elsa doll on the shelf...the same Elsa doll your daughter wrote about on her list to Father Christmas. Every other shop is sold out already. This is the last Elsa doll in the WORLD.

Your first reaction is probably to hook your foot around the man's ankles and trip him up before crowd-surfing your way majestically to the till, swiping the Elsa doll off the shelf triumphantly as you cruise past. You need that toy, after all, or Christmas is ruined.

We've all had that moment when we've looked worriedly over our child's shoulder as they scrawl their letter to Santa. "For Christmas I would like..." they write, and your heart sinks as you read: "A PlayStation 4, three Elsa dolls...and a bag of Haribo."

Every parent wants their child to be happy, and we live for that moment on Christmas morning when they tear apart the wrapping paper and beam excitedly at you, squealing incessantly because you bought the present they wanted.

But we all know what happens next. They play with the present for a few hours, maybe even a day or two, and then Elsa sits on the shelf gathering dust as your child either goes back to old favourites or just plays with the box. You're left wondering a) why you bothered spending so much money, and b) whether the guy in front of you in the crowd is recovering quickly after being trampled on by a thousand frantic parents.


This pressure we put on ourselves to satisfy our child's every wish; is it worth it? Is it really beneficial?


Think back to Christmas Day when you were a child. What comes to mind? Sitting on your parents' bed with your stockings? Scoffing a large breakfast? A house full of family, everyone wearing paper crowns whilst your granddad sneaks you a tiny glass of port?

That's what your children will remember in years to come. Not Elsa dolls, or the latest gadgets, but running around with their friends in a house strewn with cracker debris and the remnants of party poppers.

Every parent wants to do their best to make their child happy, and Christmas time is no exception. In fact, Christmas is the one time of year when each parent finds themselves engulfed in an avalanche of brightly-coloured adverts for the latest must-have toys.

But I say we should focus on what Christmas is really about, not what the adverts would have us believe it is.

Forget Black Friday. Forget Christmas crushes, forget clamouring for the latest toys, forget stressing yourself out and jumping from shop to shop worrying about whether or not your son or daughter will have exactly what they want this Christmas.