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Devaluing Xmas

(38 Posts)
mouldycheesefan Tue 24-Nov-15 09:57:51

we have Xmas presents on Xmas day. That's it.
I have done Xmas pjs on Xmas eve before and found my children wee not really bothered about them.
Do people find that elf presents, Xmas eve presents, books every day of advent etc devalue the magic of Xmas in reality?
We love Xmas and the run up and do lots of fun things but for us it's not about constant gifts.

dodobookends Tue 24-Nov-15 10:02:52

Never heard of elf presents before or done anything like that, but we have always done an advent calendar, advent candle, and gone to a carol concert etc.

nilbyname Tue 24-Nov-15 10:05:11

I agree with you in some ways but I do the elf and the Christmas Eve thing but in a more frugal way.

The elf comes and plays pranks, leaves one sweetie in the advent calendar and sometimes a note for us to do something. (Family day out, food drop to food bank, bake cookies for the elderly home).
Elf also leaves paper and a new pen/pencil to write a letter to FC.
Christmas Eve box is some hot chocolate and old pjs tied up in ribbons. A note and a suggested movie we already have.
I get all the Christmassy themed books off our shelves, wrap them, put them in a bag and then the children choose one each eve to read on the run up to Christmas.

So we do it all, but not in a costly way. We try and harness the Christmas spirit of charity and giving.

GastonsChestHair Tue 24-Nov-15 10:18:31

I do agree with you.

I quite like doing an elf visit on the 6th of December, the kids leave out their wellies with their Christmas list. The elves collect the lists and leave a few gold chocolate coins and sometimes an elf warning if behaviour hasn't been up to scratch!

They have an advent calendar each, just the chocolate ones and we do some Christmas activities through December, mostly crafts like making decorations and cards that they send to friends and family and baking.

We also do rack-ing. I've talked about it on another thread. It stands for random acts of Christmas kindness. And we encourage them to give over the Christmas period rather than take.

We usually do a film and hot choc on Christmas eve before bed too but no presents.

They look forward to Christmas day but we keep their present level low by keeping to a list of want, need, read and a surprise.

PaulAnkaTheDog Tue 24-Nov-15 10:23:21

I find the elf thing hmm DS gets an advent calendar, we go to a panto and a Christmas fair. Christmas Eve is making biscuits, drinking hot chocolate, church and family round for 'party food' (ds's favourite). The need for gifts at every opportunity is depressing tbh.

I think you could make the argument for either side, and everyone should celebrate it as they see fit.

I know some people like to stretch it out as it's an awful lot of planning/spending/work for just one day of fun.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Tue 24-Nov-15 10:29:21

I hate the elf thing, but we do celebrate advent - for us that's an advent calendar, carol concert, our town's Christmas lights switch on and santa lists, and of course whatever else is going on at school.

I do give new pjs on Christmas Eve but tbh that's because DS always has a few inches of ankle showing on his pj bottoms (they really shrink in the wash, don't they?) and I want him in a matching, fitting pair for the Christmas morning photos. So it's not 'ooooh here's an early present' it's more 'can you put on respectable jammies please, here's a new pair'.

YES! It's becoming even more of a consumer nut time. It's insane. It's like everything has to be even more 'special' ,which means with more money and pointless stuff behind it. The magic of Christmas will soon be lost.

I've always done new Christmas themed pjs on Christmas Eve, delivered while ds is in the bath. He thinks the elves bring them. Fine.

However,now everyone 'needs' a 'Christmas Eve Hamper' with pjs,dvds,books,hot chocolate and other stuff 'delivered' in a basket or a special personalised box. Heck,there are people selling ready made ones this year ffs.

Then there's the 'hot chocolate stations' because you simply cannot enjoy a hot chocolate unless you've got a festive tray,in a really inconvenient place, to walk to to get the powder,go make it,then walk back to the tray,open some jars and choose your toppings!

And the Elf on the Shelf stuff.

Everything is over the top.

We'll watch Polar Express on Christmas Eve,as always, have Chinese and hot chocolate without needing a 'station' and will be sat in our Christmas pjs to bring on the cheer for the next day. If I needed all the rubbish are people are coming out with now to make it feel special I would question what the heck was wrong with me!

But then people start so early now too. I always classes myself as a Christmas nut but can't anymore as I'm sane compared to the people around now. I absolutely love Christmas,but I don't do all the daft shit!

November we have a pre-christmas clear out, anything we don't need or don't use goes to people who do need or would use it in December via charity. We get the house looking it's best ready for the start of December so there's less to do in the month itself and because it feels more respectful, peaceful and grateful. We'll also make decorations.

December is advent, gingerbread houses, Christmas films, giving to and helping others, decorating the tree etc.

And obviously Christmas Day is Christmas Day!

I don't understand the need for all the current tosh people do.

willconcern Tue 24-Nov-15 10:54:57

WTF is an "elf present"? I have never ever heard of this!

mouldycheesefan Tue 24-Nov-15 10:59:23

Trip trap, exactly!
Xmas is really special and fun and fabulous without any of the nonsensical constant gift receiving. There was a poster saying she gave her kids a new book about Xmas every day of advent ,they were fed up with it by day 5, can you imagine by day 21... Oh great another Xmas book! She wasn't doing it again this year.
I do go christmastastic I love it, but Xmas gifts are for Xmas day not every day of advent in our house.

TinklyLittleLaugh Tue 24-Nov-15 11:03:30

How do these Christmas Eve PJs work then? I have never put my babies or kids in PJs that I hadn't pre washed. Do you all de tag, wash, then wrap up? What if they don't then fit? Or does no one else pre wash PJs and undies?

I am a complete idler who irons nothing, by the way, so I doubt my PJ washing is that unusual.

FellOffMyUnicorn Tue 24-Nov-15 11:16:45

what is the value of Xmas if its not personal, surely thats the point and value.

Do what makes you happy at christmas, dont worry about what others are doing, and dont worry about what they think of what you are doing

personally, i dont do any of the elf stuff, etc, my tree goes up mid december... and i dont care what others think. I love my xmas

DrasticAction Tue 24-Nov-15 11:39:53

Ahh I see Trip, so you giving PJs via Elf is OK...but everything else OTT right...

Ds decided they were from an Elf. Not me!

PaulAnkaTheDog Tue 24-Nov-15 11:54:53

Drastic there is a massive difference between an 'elf' bringing new jammies of Christmas eve and an 'Elf' hanging around from the beginning of December, being a pain in the ass, costing money and building up a child's expectation of the presents they should get.

The person who came up with The Elf on the Shelf hit a goldmine. It was literally just a way to make money. No 'special meaning'. Cold hard cash.

dottypotter Tue 24-Nov-15 13:01:16

why do children need a Christmas eve hamper and presents on the day and new pyjamas etc? Just more pressure on the parents!

Got by without them loads of people did!

SymphonyofShadows Tue 24-Nov-15 13:15:33

I don't do the Elf stuff or the Christmas Eve basket as my kids get enough on the day itself. They used to get new PJ's but they are older now and live in onesies, the PJ's weren't a gift though, just looked better in photos as a PP said. Christmas Eve is when I do my baking and the DC's make rocky road for FC, even though only one nominally believes. That's our tradition.

mercifulTehlu Tue 24-Nov-15 13:24:38

We do presents from family and a stocking from Father Christmas not Santa .That's it. I hate all the extra stuff that we are persuaded is now the norm. It's just a way of wringing more money (or guilt ) out of parents. I've always hated the sound of the elf thing. And when did the pyjamas become a thing? Pyjamas are just pyjamas - I can't imagine my dc being very interested in them tbh.

This is making me sound really bah humbug, but I actually really really love Christmas. I just don't see the point of all these tacky extras.

Troika Tue 24-Nov-15 13:35:58

My two get new PJs on Xmas eve, only because one year they both needed them around then so I gave them on Xmas eve to encourage them to go to bed. I didn't have much money at all at the time, so yes, they did feel like the new pyjamas were something special. Even now they look forward to their new pyjamas at Christmas (not christmassy pyjamas, just two pairs to last the year). I can see how children who regularly get new clothes etc would be meh about it though!

We also watch a christmassy film together that night. Just a nice way to all be together and to wind the children down ready for bed. Usually play a board game together first too.

The christmassy books come out of the loft with the decorations but there's no fanfare, usually put them under the Christmas tree until the presents come.

Other than that it's advent calendars and Christmas day only.

Maybe it's more than I thought seeing it written down grin

Troika Tue 24-Nov-15 13:38:38

Cross posted merciful, looked like I was giving you a snotty reply then, sorry.

We do the same, presents from family and stocking from father Christmas.

Essexgirlupnorth Tue 24-Nov-15 13:45:52

Santa's grottos seem to be getting more and more elaborate and more a more expensive. Then parents seen to complaining that Santa didn't look real enough, the experience wasn't magical enough.
I remember seeing Santa in a cupboard at the church Christmas Faye and that was enough.

mercifulTehlu Tue 24-Nov-15 13:46:52

Not at all, Troika grin

fuzzpig Tue 24-Nov-15 14:28:20

I've seen two different people post photos of santa visits in the last few days. It's November! confused

I do agree with you OP but also agree that it's just personal to each family.

I wanted to say that pyjamas most definitely are exciting in our house - for me as much as the DCs. It's the only time I get to choose them some, as they get a pair each on their summer birthdays (PIL tradition) and we don't buy them as and when through the year. So now they get a onesie (not Christmassy though as it has to last all year) from the elves. They really look forward to it. We have usually added something that is delivered at the same time - a tree decoration each usually as the ones they get each year will be their collection when they move out (that's another one I nicked from MN - actually all of our 'traditions' are, because our own childhood Christmases were shit so we are starting from scratch grin). Usually something to do before bed, but only if it was something I'd wanted to get them anyway (eg last year the Jolly Christmas Postman because it was one of my favourites, but there aren't any Christmassy books I think are worth getting this year, so I won't get one just for the sake of it)

I really do lust after the Playmobil and Lego advent calendars but that would be overkill for us, they get a chocolate one.

FellOffMyUnicorn Tue 24-Nov-15 15:26:10

i'd like to get my DCs the lego calenders, but 2 x DC = £50, their present budget is about £100 each, so...

OSETmum Tue 24-Nov-15 15:44:46

I've noticed a lot of people on here are paring things back this year after recents years' craziness with elf on the shelf etc, having realised it's all too much.

We don't do elf on the shelf because DS would never believe it was real but we do do a new onesie on Christmas Eve as we have a party where the children (and big children) wear onesies. DS has already asked for a minions one. They're not from 'elves' though, they're far too busy! And there's no elaborate 'hamper' either, just a onesie and a bath bomb.

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