Christmas time is creeping upon us. Which means the run up to it involves : catch ups with friends and family, the Christmas themed day outs, the activities, the crafts, the traditions, the work dos, giving to those in need, the food, drink etc.
It takes it’s toll out on your bank balance.
And for a lot of families that means, It’s the most stressful time of the year.
The overwhelming feeling of pressure gets to all of us. Whether you’re rich or poor, you want to keep up with the latest gifts, and you simply don’t know where to draw the line.
People you haven’t spoken to in a while, go out and buy your loved ones presents, which then makes you feel like you have to return one back. I am simply calling it all out for what it is : greedy, materialistic and a waste of money. And you know what? Every year I am one of those people who spend too much.
Last night, I got all the presents out from ( THE BIG GUY ) and put them out into piles for each (three) of my children. The piles of presents would fit a regular sized stocking. But I suddenly got very panicked and started writing out a list of things to top up with. Things the kids didn’t actually need. Things I knew deep down I couldn’t really afford. I went to home bargains the next day and spent another £20 on Florence’s stocking presents. Yes they are lovely, overly girly, pink type things, that she will be super happy about getting. But that £20 could’ve gone towards her school lunches for next two weeks, or even a couple of emergency Costa coffee visits (priorities).
Why did I feel the need to throw away more money? I asked myself. And the reality/answer is because it’s what everyone else around me seems to do. It’s what I was brought up with. It’s the done thing. I grew up with having a Nan who was basically, Father Christmas herself. We had so many presents to open. I admit, it was really magical, but it’s also very unrealistic.
It gets even more silly because, Florence only asks for one or two things, and they’re both sat under our tree. I even have anxiety whilst typing this out. The children aren’t placing this pressure on ourselves. It’s us. We’re making ourselves suffer.
Christmas is about giving, but that isn’t necessarily meaning to give out material items, it’s giving someone attention and time, it’s giving someone reassurance that the new year will be better, it’s giving someone a well needed hug, its taking time out to give someone near or far a text to say ‘Merry Christmas’, it’s spending some precious catch up time with our older relatives.
Stop with buying the extra bits of plastic crap. I have and so should you. Not only is it really, really, really bad for the environment. It’s bad on your mental health. And it’s not going to teach your children anything. They just want to have a lovely day with their family, (a good roast dinner on top of that is a bonus) it’s spending time together, that they’ll remember. Because for me, looking back over my mountains of gifts, being in the same household with all my cousins and aunties, and uncles, and grandparents.
That was the magic. That is Christmas. Oh and Jesus if you’re into that.