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Covid has a Christmas silver lining

(99 Posts)
Courtney555 Sat 24-Oct-20 19:39:57

Am I the only one thinking that, as covid has almost forced our hands into a very small Christmas, that actually, a side effect will be that we generally take a step back and have a smaller scale Christmas.

There's no "must have the perfect looking insta posts on Christmas Day", no commercialised excess, no over indulgence for being seen too do so.

By forcing the country to scale down, I think perhaps it's the shake up we needed to realise how ridiculous our Christmas consumerism had (excuse the pun) snowballed too, and in fact this will be a welcome wake up call to so many, that they can do a third of what they feel pressured to do, and still have just as good a time...

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Spam88 Sat 24-Oct-20 19:41:30

No, I think there's no good reason why it wouldn't go the other way. Instead of being busy enjoying Christmas with family and friends, people will have more time to potentially take to social media. Overcompensating on present buying to make up for all the other shittiness etc.

Courtney555 Sat 24-Oct-20 19:43:17

Eek. Do you think? I was speaking to family members, who were all of the resolve that, ah well, it's kind of been cancelled on the normal large scale, so we'll all do a much smaller scale in our own little units, and actually, realising the benefits of that, getting back to the real value of Christmas

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hemhem Sat 24-Oct-20 19:43:48

Our Christmas revolves around getting together with extended family. My DH had a very large family, 3 siblings and 4 step-siblings and its usually the only time of year we can all get together due to work commitments, travel etc. I will be very sad that we miss out on seeing any of them this year and my kids will really miss seeing their cousins, grandparents and aunts/uncles.

Princessposie Sat 24-Oct-20 19:44:33

I’ve lost the plot and already spent £400 on a bike for my DC (8 blush). This year has been so traumatic I’m going to make Christmas as ridiculously magical as I can grin go big or go home!

Lovemusic33 Sat 24-Oct-20 19:46:58

Christmas won’t be much different for me, we don’t have big family get togethers and often spend Christmas on our own, my dad may pop in or we may pop to my mums in the evening but we rarely have more than 6 in one house. I won’t be spending more to make up for a shit year but won’t be cancelling Christmas either.

Spam88 Sat 24-Oct-20 19:47:23

@Princessposie I got all the Christmas presents out today and er...I think I should probably keep some for her birthday 🙈 still waiting on a few parcels as well.

Courtney555 Sat 24-Oct-20 19:47:49

@hemhem ours very much revolves around extended family, although that entails one aunt who is rather grabby and "look how much I've spent" and another family member who crazes me with #blessed posts.

I think because none of us are "#blessed" hmm this year, it removes the competitive consumerism and necessity to portray a certain image, and that might actually be a good thing, for people to see just how ridiculous they have become at Christmas time. I'm Christmas crazy. I'll still do the lovely wrapping, a lovely dinner, but I feel a lot more traditional values that aren't tainted by consumerism this year.

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OverTheRubicon Sat 24-Oct-20 19:50:34

I agree with others. It means we lose the most valuable bit of Christmas for many people - connecting with families, including those who might be older or lonely without it - but encourages more online shopping and Pinterest-induced stress and guilt.

swishswooshswash Sat 24-Oct-20 19:52:25

I think in terms of social media posting etc I agree with the pp - if people aren't going anywhere or entertaining they are maybe more likely to overcompensate on social media.

But I do agree on the general crazy Christmas consumption and pressure to do so much in the run up. I am usually deep into fraught Christmas negotiations with both sides of my family at this point in the year so a definite silver lining that we might end up with a quiet low key Christmas with the kids this year.

I think the same about weddings - will people go back to spending tens of thousands of pounds on weddings or will there be a bit of a reset?

Courtney555 Sat 24-Oct-20 19:53:22

Oh dear. It seems my lot are in the minority. Happy to admit I'm wrong. Whilst of course there is something lovely about a big family Christmas, I thought people might embrace the closeness of those most immediate, and get back to the real values and the basics. Not overcompensate with more shopping sad

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hemhem Sat 24-Oct-20 19:56:51

My kids have never spent Xmas at home. For the last 10 years we have always gone to visit grandparents and their house is usually like a magical treasure trove of old books, lovely old toys and full of traditional decorations, things from when my DH was a kid. For the kids just being together and having all their cousins to play with all day is the biggest treat of all as we live 4 hours away and don't see them much. I haven't worked out how to explain to them yet that we will be just 4 of us at home this year instead of the usual 15 of us all piled crazily into grandma's house for 3 days plus lots of visits to the wider family. I understand why we have to do this but its really sad

Nutrigrainygoodness Sat 24-Oct-20 19:57:56

I work in a shop, that sells Xmas decorations- we are as busy as we were last year- people are saying they are buying early just in case, but then if lockdown doesn't happen they have said they will be back for more stuff- therefore spending more than they usually would.

Courtney555 Sat 24-Oct-20 19:59:26

@hemhem so sorry to hear that. Our situation is similar. What we're doing, is all meeting up on Boxing Day, for a socially distanced walk on the beach. I think it will be lovely. It's the whole day together, with flasks of hot chocolate, and to blow away the cobwebs, (and calories from Christmas Day) without any commercialisation involved.

Could you guys do anything like that?

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hemhem Sat 24-Oct-20 19:59:43

For anyone who has spent most of the last 7 months in their small family unit the thought of 2 weeks of isolation at xmas is just more of the same. I dearly love my DC but I have spent more time with them, and only them, this year than ever before and have basically not seen any other extended family in person at all

CoolShoeshine Sat 24-Oct-20 20:00:24

I don’t know if this year will necessarily reduce consumerism but for me it will sure as hell be more relaxing. No forced networking at the Christmas work do (hurrah!). No obligation to travel to and stay at in laws 250 miles away over new year. No having to rush around and get messes of food in for the people coming over. Less of the constant work, work, work, shop, shop, shop. Sure we will miss people but we will chat over zoom on Christmas Day and it will be nice to have a less stressful Christmas for one year.

Courtney555 Sat 24-Oct-20 20:01:17

So...we haven't lost our valuable connection, it's being done via a whole day walking on the beach, instead of at home, swapping presents. We lose the materialism, but gain a wonderful experience.

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Parker231 Sat 24-Oct-20 20:03:59

Christmas for us is our extended family. DS is at Uni, DD has just started work in Brussels so need her to be able to travel to the UK. My parents and DSil and her family are in Belgium, DH’s parents are in Canada and his DSis and family are in the US.

I need them to be with us. Our Christmas is family.

hemhem Sat 24-Oct-20 20:04:39

@courtney555 that sounds like our "normal" Boxing Day, and I hope it's lovely for you. Rules in my area currently only permit 2 households at a time to meet up so we wouldn't be able to do that all at once and as we're 4hours away we can't really do multiple day trips. I'm resigned to it but just feel sad and know the kids will be very upset

Courtney555 Sat 24-Oct-20 20:15:09

I think you guys commenting aren't in the excessive consumerism category already, Christmas is about family and that valuable time. I'm referring more to those who have made the whole thing verging on the ridiculous, and by being forced to scale down, might take a step back and realise what ridiculousness they have bought into.

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actiongirl1978 Sat 24-Oct-20 20:18:17

@Courtney555 we will spend just as much as normal this is a totally normal Christmas for us.

Usually 4 of us plus my parents. We are tier one so I don't see that changing.

We stay at home every year as the rule when we had our first DC was we only have Xmas at home and parents are welcome to join us.

So no change at all. We always walk with the DC on Xmas eve and with my parents on boxing day.

I hope you enjoy your beach walk, quiet Christmases are the norm for us, the idea of visiting lots of people gives me the horrors!

Lyricallie Sat 24-Oct-20 20:19:49

I hope not. I love Christmas, we are all adults so there isn't crazy consumerism. We set a budget on each other. I'm going to be upset if I don't get to have my big Christmas with my family. I live 6 hours away and hardly ever get to see them all. I haven't seen my sister since February, especially as the rules as quite strict in Scotland.

We usually have about 10-12 people for dinner and other adult children popping in and out throughout the evening and the party we have goes into the early hours. Fingers crossed for a family Christmas this year.

Dinosauratemydaffodils Sat 24-Oct-20 20:22:49

We're going totally over the top because this year has been awful. I lost my grandmother (not to covid) but couldn't go to her funeral. I nearly got sectioned in May. My mental health is still rubbish. My mum is severely depressed and on her own. I've essentially been Christmas shopping since June and I'll be splitting presents and treats across what looks like it will a miserable winter.

We will be walking on the beach (it's a 2 minute walk from our front door) and making cookies, bringing in holly from the garden etc but definitely shopping to excess.

NeonBella Sat 24-Oct-20 20:31:23

I thought people might embrace the closeness of those most immediate, and get back to the real values and the basics

What if you're a lone parent? We don't have a large family unit to enjoy spending the day with. All we have is each other. Christmas with just the two of us would be like every other day of the year, and frankly that's bloody depressing.

So...we haven't lost our valuable connection, it's being done via a whole day walking on the beach, instead of at home, swapping presents. We lose the materialism, but gain a wonderful experience

And if you live in city in a flat??

News flash, not everyone has the picture perfect family unit and not everyone lives on the bloody coast or countryside!

majesticallyawkward Sat 24-Oct-20 21:02:16

I can see it going OTT, all the twee shit like posed pics in matching PJs, outdoing everyone with the elf on the shelf antics, massive piles of presents posted to SM, 'look at how perfect we are' type of posts and of course overly decorated houses (I can feel the door bows coming already, the hideous things have already spilled into Halloween!).

I've noticed this type of thing increasing since March anyway, posed and perfect looking photos of the wonderful things people are doing when you know actually that isn't their life at all. It's really damaging and has had an impact on MH for a lot of people, with Christmas it's also got massive potential to cause financial stress too.

I'd love for the smaller, real Christmas to happen instead! I do try to teach my dc that Christmas, and generally life, isn't about gifts or spending money and try to do nice things instead (with a 5yo and 1yo it's inevitably a disaster and someone cries).

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