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Anyone successfully de-comercialised christmas??

(9 Posts)
scrappydappydoo Thu 09-Oct-08 11:43:03

Would love to keep our Christmas focused on the real reason for celebrating - Jesus. Have successfully managed to keep dd fairly ignorant of father christmas but now shes at pre-school we've resigned ourselves to the fact that she is going to get educated very quickly on the more comercial side of Christmas. Any tips on how we deal with this without dd turning into the brat that tells all her friends Father Christmas doesn't exist (btw - we haven't told her that just not brought the big guy up in conversation)
All ideas appreciated

RuthChan Thu 09-Oct-08 19:03:33

Is there any way that you can introduce her to Father Christmas, but under your own terms?
It's inevitable that she will hear about him at preschool, so why not tell her about him first.
You can introduce him as part of the Christian tradition, ie a kind old man who helps and gives gifts to children all over the world out of Christian charity.
You can teach her to leave something for him and the reindeer in the same way that he leaves something (small) for her.
At that age you should be able to put any spin on the story that you like and have it accepted. It seems fairer than telling her that he doesn't exist. After all, Father Christmas is now deeply ingrained as part and parcel of the magic of Christmas, whether commercial or not.

surprise Thu 09-Oct-08 19:52:06

We're not Christians in this household, but we do like to celebrate Christmas. However, a couple of years ago we decided that receiving/buying presents for relatives that we rarely see, and also buying presents for one another was all a bit pointless, and expensive. So we wrote to everyone after Christmas, thanked them for their gifts and explained that next year we wouldn't be sending gifts and would instead make a donation to charity. We asked if they would do the same. Most people thought it was a great idea. So DP and I buy each other a present, with a £10 limit, which actually makes it quite fun!

We still buy presents for the DCs, but as they don't receive presents from anyone else they're not overloaded with expensive toys.

The money we have saved has been used to sponsor a child in Senegal, and I'm sure the money is of far more use to him.

Hope this might inspire you.

Lauriefairycake Thu 09-Oct-08 20:19:29

yes, we buy small gifts for each other and always Oxfam gifts too or sponsor a dog/whale/child, make our own cards/presents as far as possible, cook together, watch films, play games

and my dh is usually taking a few services in church over christmas time so we help him prepare them

scrappydappydoo Thu 09-Oct-08 22:26:35

I like the idea of the oxfam gifts... will be consulting their catalogue..
surprise - can I ask how old your dc are - cos I can see it working with older kids but not sure about younger ones.. espec as gps want to spoil them hmm
Ruth - we're not planning on telling her that fc doesn't exist mostly cos I don't want her spoiling other peoples christmas - so I agree I might have to sit her down first with our own version!!

cherryliquormonster Thu 09-Oct-08 23:37:23

i am not religious, i do however believe that christmas is far too commercialised. in my house, christmas is more about spending quality time together. we spend time making homemade gifts together, playing carols, and making decorations. yes i do buy presents for my kids, and i will admit sometimes i go overboard but i try not to make it just about the presents

girlywhirly Fri 10-Oct-08 13:19:39

Oxfam have some really good fairtrade products in their shops, too. The chocolates are fab.

I second learning about the origins of our Christmas customs, St Nicholas was a minor saint from the 4th century and his generosity was legendary, helping the sick and the poor. He is also responsible for our hanging up stockings. The story goes, he anonymously placed gold coins in the stockings (hanging above the fire to dry) of three young brides who couldn't afford to marry as they had no dowries. This we re-enact today using chocolate coins! I think it is a nice story of generosity.

I agree that too many people have forgotten the true meaning of the festival, otherwise there would be no mumsnetters panicking about difficult relatives, or stuggling to do everything with no help! You don't have to be religious to be generous, helpful, considerate and appreciative.

EachPeachPearMum Fri 10-Oct-08 15:04:35

I am atheist, and DH is buddhist, and we have only celebrated christmas since dd (2.8) came along.
We do 'traditional' type things- we go together as a family to choose a tree, decorate it together, have christmassy programmes on the radio, stockings etc. but don't go overboard on gifts- its about spending time together as a family.

Christmas day, we have always had MIL over for lunch (14 yrs now), and still do- cooking and eating together is important in our house- everyone pitches in.

I want to teach DD about the origins of christmas, and so this year, we will hopefully have a nativity scene.

We weren't going to tell her about father christmas, but she goes to nursery full-time, and around early december last year she stunned me with "Mans going to come and bring presents, mama" shock so that cat was out of the bag. To be honest, I downplayed it as much as possible- her presents were from us or the family, not FC or SC.

trixymalixy Fri 10-Oct-08 15:09:30

Can you link father Christmas giving presents in with the presents that jesus was brought as he lay in the manger?

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