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Does anyone else think they may be a bit OTT with Christmas because of childhood issues? Pop Psych over here!

(21 Posts)
smellylittleorange Wed 06-Nov-13 23:22:18

Was just reading the thread about Christmas Eve Hampers being OTT after a search on here which made me think and reflect...

I do get stupidly silly over christmas
I do go ott with DD (although not always with spending on her)
I get rdiculously excited about lights, music, smells etc

parts of my childhood were extremely crap, some were brill but unfortunately something horrid did happen to me one Christmas day. I feel proud as an adult that I was able to deal with all the sh*t as a young girl but I know ever since I moved in with my husband (most of my adult life) I go a bit silly over christmas - I feel a bit weird about it all now lke 'm stupid for thinking a bath bomb and hot chocolate on Christmas eve can compensate and it's all a bit too much and contrived

my name is smellylittleorange and I am a "createtheperfectchristmas scenarioaddict" shock

Of course I knew this all along only just admitted it to myself feel a bit crapola now

fuzzpig Wed 06-Nov-13 23:40:05

I am similar... Shit childhood which includes miserable (though not traumatic in themselves, unlike other aspects of my childhood) Christmases.

I am supposed to be sleeping now (two therapy sessions tomorrow, go figure confused) but will be back another time.

fuzzpig Wed 06-Nov-13 23:41:39

But in the meantime, don't beat yourself up over this, there is nothing wrong with trying to give your children a better experience than you had smile

nancy75 Wed 06-Nov-13 23:47:53

op, there is nothing wrong with doing anything you want with your dd at christmas. i had a great childhood and very ott chritmas and i do the same for my dd. as long as you don't have to sell the house to do it who cares?

you get so few years when children believe in father christmas why not make the most of it?

i love christmas, love the lights the decorations and love seeing my dd enjoy it all

smellylittleorange Wed 06-Nov-13 23:49:45

thanks fuzzpig yeah I know just feel a bit silly - thought all that was behind me but guess still in my subconscious. suppose I may just be genetically predisposed to be a christmas addict anyhow - who's to say. Sorry about your childhood sad

smellylittleorange Wed 06-Nov-13 23:52:16

Well exactly she is my only DD I want her life to be happy want her to have happy memories I think I have one year tops that she believes n the magic.

CherryMonster Thu 07-Nov-13 07:28:32

yep. my dad has always been such a grouch about christmas. dont get me wrong, he didnt begrudge spending money on us kids, but he didnt like decorations up, never sat with us for christmas dinner, moaned the whole time, wouldnt open presents etc. i have always been the exact opposite and will continue to be as long as i can. i love christmas and all it entails

wonderingsoul Thu 07-Nov-13 07:38:03

i dont think its silly, and in some way i do think doing the things you do anf going "ott" can be a bit of theaopy.

i didnt have a bad childhood, bu it was very lonely even though i i understood why. i still get very excited over christmas, theres deffintly a smell to it, i still loves fairy lights, and christmas decorations. theres nothing wrong with going made over it.. its not like children will look back and go ohh i wish m yparents didnt go over board on trying to make every thing christmassy and magical is there?

Allthebees Thu 07-Nov-13 07:38:48

I think it's perfectly fine to go OTT as long as it doesn't stress you out. My Christmases as a kid were wracked with guilt because of splitting it between divorced parents. It's only now that I'm older I realize its not right for a child to feel guilty at Christmas and I will do all I canto ensure dd doesn't feel the same.

Perhaps it only feels weird because its so different to what you grew up with?

Hope you enjoy it!!

SayHelloToMyLittleFriend Thu 07-Nov-13 08:05:02

I don't think you should feel silly at all, I bet your dd will grow up and have brilliant memories smile

My mum didn't have a great childhood and doesn't have any happy memories of christmas when she was young so she's always went a bit ott at christmas for us. I honestly have the best memories of christmas as a child, not just the presents but all the other little things she used to do like decorations, christmas music and film, xmas eve pjs etc.

I don't think you're doing anything wrong, it's nice to get excited and want to make things special for our children.

wamabama Thu 07-Nov-13 09:36:34

Count me in.

Had a lonely, miserable childhood and god awful Christmases. Wasn't short of presents but that's all Christmas was. No build up to the day, only an artificial tree that matched Mum's decor hmm in the way of decorations and the actual day was just so emotionally cold. I grew up watching the Christmas movies and just wishing I could have Christmases even slightly like that.

So now I go way OTT with my DC and Idgaf. I'm that Mum racing around in a corny Christmas cardigan baking a lot, doing crafts with the DC, decorating the house as much as possible (without making it look like a grotto grin). Panicking from October that it won't all be done and 'perfect' and losing sleep... Making it all twee and wonderful and like the movies.

It's important to me that it's not just a day where you open presents, eat a Sunday dinner and watch TV and thats it. I didn't even eat a mince pie until my first Christmas with DC fgs, the very epitome of Christmas and we never had them grin.

GobbolinoCat Thu 07-Nov-13 09:43:09


I am not ashamed, i think its perfectly natural, but I dont just do it at christmas, I have made sure they have dream bedrooms, and all the things I didnt have.,

Slainte Thu 07-Nov-13 09:50:55

CherryMonster I could've written your post. My dad is exactly like that for Christmas and birthdays,it's very odd behaviour and can be embarrassing if there's a non-family member present, like when my DH first spent Christmas with us - never again!

I think because DF had such an awful childhood he doesn't know how to celebrate.

I really go OTT with my DD and I'm happy to.

soontobeslendergirl Thu 07-Nov-13 09:58:36

My Christmases were actually fine, I don't have any unhappy memories as such, but I was the youngest of 7 kids and although we always had a wee pile of presents every christmas, I always felt that I could never ask for anything I really wanted as my parents couldn't afford it. Having 6 older brothers and sisters, I don't think I ever believed in Santa but always hoped a miracle would happen and I'd wake up to a shiny new bike or something.

So, I think my Christmases were generally tinged with disappointment and guilt for being disappointed.

I know that I over indulge my boys but I always justify it because they always get great reports from school and I don't buy them a lot throughout the year.

Parsnipcake Thu 07-Nov-13 10:01:00

I am just the same. Divorced drunk parents blah de blah. Now I go mad (and justify it as I am a foster carer). Dont beat yourself up about it, just enjoy x

stickysausages Thu 07-Nov-13 10:15:59

Firstly thanks to the OP...

I have issues around Christmas, my parents split up when I was two & growing up, I was made to choose who I wanted to spend Christmas with, so in some ways, I associate it with letting people down, and disappointing people.

My mum always said that when I was small, I never knew what I wanted from Santa, she had to cajole me into writing a list!

My mum didn't have a great childhood, and she always tried SO hard to make everything PERFECT which inevitably led to a bit of an anti climax... and is something I'm really guilty of now... I want the picture perfect, kirsty allsopp day... but reality ruins it...

Having said all that, I'm trying to break the cycle and as DS is a boy, I'm sure he won't be so bothered anyway!

I'm trying to relax about it all, and we do have fun... we don't go overboard with gifts, but I do need to chill out when it comes to creating traditions etc

Marne Thu 07-Nov-13 10:49:08

I go OTT, we do Christmas Eve hampers ( well new pj's and a book, though last year I got the dd's a build a bear too), get very excited and put decorations up early, spend way too much on the dd's but I had a ok childhood, got quite a bit for Christmas ( but nothing like what my dd's get ) and a lot of gifts from family and friends.

I do think a part of it for me is that there's so much to choose from in the way of toys and gadgets and there's a lot of bargains to be had ( there was no sales when we were kids, no 3 for 2's, no amazon ), we only really had argos or woolworths when we were kids. We would get one main present and then a few smaller ones ( colouring books, pens, pj's etc..) so I can't really say we went with out.

We don't really do going out and day trips around Christmas as its hard work with 2 autistic children so I guess I try and make up for it with presents, I also try and buy things that will last through the year.

We go a bit mad with decorations ( buy a couple new ones each year). I think I just love Christmas and it gives me something to plan and look forward to as winter is quite depressing.

aintnothinbutagstring Thu 07-Nov-13 11:29:47

People get excited about Christmas without having had a bad childhood or rubbish Christmas's pretty much because winter is long and hard, its nice to have something to look forward to as marne says. I do somewhat resent the consumerism at Christmas only because for people that can't afford it, it puts so much pressure on, it could actually turn into quite a depressing time of year for especially come January when all the bills start coming in.

If you feel you're going overboard on the spending and present side of things, why not direct your efforts more to enjoying every experience available at Christmas, the markets (even if just for a cheeky cup of mulled wine!), turning on of Christmas lights in town, pantomimes, go ice skating if you have it where you live, watch lots of cheesy seasonal films at home or the cinema, go to Christingle or carols at church.

And older children/teenagers very much enjoy Christmas too, just like we do.

CherryMonster Thu 07-Nov-13 11:35:46

Slainte- he is like it all the time,not just christmas and birthdays. he never told us he loved us, was never affectionate towards us, rarely laughed and was a total disciplinarian. I hated my childhood, being the eldest of 3 i was always the one that got into trouble, and he was harsher on me than the younger 2. i have always been totally determined not to be like him, i make a big fuss for christmas and birthdays, i love it as much as the kids.

50shadesofknackered Thu 07-Nov-13 12:47:26

I go ott at Christmas but because I love it. I had a lovely childhood and I have wonderful memories of christmas and I still get that christmassy feeling. I desperately want my children to love Christmas and have the same good memories as me. This causes me to go way over the top but I am trying to rein it in not really

curiousgeorgie Thu 07-Nov-13 13:16:09

I too had a lovely childhood... With brilliant Christmases and lots of presents!

But I'm still Christmas mad wink

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