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AIBU to think a simple Christmas doesn't mean spending £££;?

(62 Posts)
Santaisinmystockings Tue 02-Dec-14 09:23:03

There is a woman who comes to my toddler group with her 2 DC. She is nice enough, though a bit woo, very into Steiner etc- she has an older DC who is at the school already

Obviously we've all recently been chatting about Christmas and what we are going to get for our DC. Woo lady has been talking quite a bit about what a simple, natural Christmas they will have- the DC will have a handful of toys each, they will have a Season Tree instead of a fir, then a vegan Christmas dinner, and a long walk in the woods. Apparently this is because they don't want their children to be little consumers, etc etc.

I thought it sounded very nice, especially as there is so much spending and competitive buying these days.

Anyway, she was telling us that she was going to buy a Waldorf doll for each of her DC, they have a few already and play with them loads, etc etc. She got the website up on her phone, and these dolls are nearly £100 each! The wooden animals she is getting them are about £20 a piece! there was other stuff too, all nice wooden toys but seriously pricey

AIBU to be surprised at this? Obviously they have the money, and if that's what the DC like, then there's nothing wrong with that (and the dolls are sweet) but my DC are lucky if they get £50 each spent on them! Yet I was wondering if I was raising them to be little consumer drones, because I was buying plastic Peppa Pig toys!

Looks like I couldn't afford a simple Christmas even if I wanted one!

formerbabe Tue 02-Dec-14 09:25:33

Ha ha..your post really made me laugh!

I feel depressed just thinking of a vegan Christmas dinner (no offence to vegans)! Bring on the meat, cheese and booze!

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Tue 02-Dec-14 09:26:28


Hand woven, ethical rags cost a lot don't you know!

It's the "art" of looking like a 19th century traveler and it costs a packet to do well...or you just look like a weirdo.

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Tue 02-Dec-14 09:27:29

If I did Christmas like her, my DH would love it....he sounds like a perfect match for that lady. He's vegan and hates consumerism.

I on the other hand love plastic. And tat. And spending CASH!

grin Since I organise it all...I win.

Pootles2010 Tue 02-Dec-14 09:29:15

Actually if you can afford it i don't see the problem? I think she means one or two really nice, sustainable presents rather than a mountain of plastic crap that gets played with once.

Blu Tue 02-Dec-14 09:31:57

Mmmm, I made a vegan Christmas dinner once, it was lush.

A steamed suet pudding, like a steak and kidney pudding, lots of herbs in the suet pastry, filled with rich wine gravy and mushrooms and chestnuts, cavolo nero, tenderstem broccoli, roasties, including sweet potato and parsnips. Christmas pudding vegan ice cream, hot spiced cherry compote, peaches poached in brandy, caramelised oranges.... top quality plain chocolates....

LOL at £100 Steiner dolls,

Blu Tue 02-Dec-14 09:33:12

But I admire the 'sustainable, non breakable' approach to presents.

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Tue 02-Dec-14 09:33:16

DH might like that pudding Blu steamed suet you say? Don't happen to have a recipe do you? grin

IgnoreMeEveryOtherReindeerDoes Tue 02-Dec-14 09:34:30

They may cost £100 but who knows she might on been on bargain threads like alot of us here and picked them up a lot cheaper.

Artandco Tue 02-Dec-14 09:34:54

We are similar in a way. Although will be having regular Christmas dinner!

It's not the cost it's the consumerism. So I don't kind spending £50/£100/£500 at Xmas as can afford, but would only do so on things the wanted.
We wouldn't say we spend say up to £150 per child, find a toy they like for £40 and then bulk out or buy extra stuff for the sake of it. If they have what they like for £40 we would just spend £40 that year. Another year it might be x10 that.

Poolomoomon Tue 02-Dec-14 09:35:07

Agreed. To me they should be making the dolls themselves if they're really anti consumerism wink. Vegan christmas dinners are great though, although the cheeseboard is definitely missing IMO. A lot of the most 'hippy' anti consumerism families spend a fortune on stuff like woven wraps, reusable nappies, organic fairtrade clothes and fairtrade Eco wooden toys etc. It costs more to be like them than it does to be a typical 'consumerist' buying your general Fisherprice and clothes from the high street. But they're ethical so they win, I guess...

I say this as a vegetarian bleeding heart liberal that also has anti consumerist tendencies and has spent a fortune on reusable nappies over the years wink. I haven't bought 100% wooden Eco toys but I have only bought toys from independent stores because every little helps.

Blu Tue 02-Dec-14 09:38:42

Claw: I made it up.
Veggie suet made up as directed but I used lots of parsley mixed in too, softened some red onions and garlic, added good tasty mushrooms (field mushrooms, etc) , thickly sliced, I think I added porcini too, vac packed chestnuts sliced, then added some cornflour, red wine, veg stock, herbs, black pepper, maybe splashed in stuff like veggie mushroom ketchup to give a rich savoury flavour, so that I had a thick mixture in sauce, put the whole lot in a suet lined basin, trussed it up with greaseproof paper etc, and steamed for about an hour, or whatever it said on the packet.

WD41 Tue 02-Dec-14 09:44:11

Just had to Google Waldorf dolls. Ugly little buggers aren't they

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Tue 02-Dec-14 09:45:13

Oooh. Sounds gorgeous!

I've never made a suet pudding though...I need a basin right? And what does "Suet lined" mean please?

Also do you make it on the day or can you make it the day before?

NorwaySpruce Tue 02-Dec-14 09:45:56

We'll as 'simple' Christmas doesn't necessarily mean inexpensive, if that's what you're asking.

Plainly made wooden/cloth toys can cost a fortune, ditto decorations.

Simple walks in the woods etc. are obviously cheap/free, but good vegan wine can be £££.

I think you are confusing what the other woman describes as 'simple' with your interpretation of the same word which appears to mean 'spending little'. The two do not mean the same at all.

SaucyJack Tue 02-Dec-14 09:46:15

YABU. Clearly those dolls are far superior morally than the plastic tat we buy kids in ways we are too dense and working-class to appreciate.

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Tue 02-Dec-14 09:46:48

WD41 yes! I took my then 3 year old DD to visit a Steiner school 7 years ago...we were looking round the frankly weird naturally decorated preschool room when she picked up a basin of faceless gnomes and held them out to me with an expression of utter horror on her little face!

We left quickly. grin

ephemeralfairy Tue 02-Dec-14 09:50:39

'Steiner woo'....ha ha ha. I grew up in Brighton and I know EXACTLY what you mean...!

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Tue 02-Dec-14 09:51:20

I mean look....these are so sweet but paint some eyes and a mouth on the poor little buggers and they'd be delightful! Why do the poor kids have to IMAGINE their faces? They don't make them imagine their bodies and tails! Why the face!? Might as well hand them a fistful of air and say "It's a dolly! It is you know! Can't you see it!?" hmm

Dancingincircles Tue 02-Dec-14 09:56:57

She reminds me of the mum from the film 'About a Boy'

MollyBdenum Tue 02-Dec-14 09:57:28

It's actually roughly the same price to buy a Waldorf doll than to make one yourself. I wanted one for DD but when I looked into the cost of materials, it really wasn't worthwhile making one.

We do have a fairly similar take on Christmas- lots of free stuff, and quality rather than quantity for presents. Those Steiner-y toys do get loads of use and last for ages and stand up to rough play really well.

If I could afford it, I would love to live my life with just a few, beautifully made things. I am gradually moving towards it by getting lovely second stuff wherever possible.

Expensive doesn't mean not simple. Ethically made stuff from good quality materials is likely to cost significantly more, but to be simpler in terms of taking up space, materials used, transport, storage and, in the case of toys, leading to long open-ended play rather than short activities.

WeirdCatLady Tue 02-Dec-14 10:02:58

Anyone else weirdly thinking of that doctor who episode when the tv stole peoples faces?

fatlazymummy Tue 02-Dec-14 10:07:19

I don't know anything about the toys, but I like the sound of tbe rest of her christmas. Obviously a vegan dinner wouldn't be to everyones taste but I would be ok with it.
There's not really a correlation between 'simple' and 'cheap' though. You can go to poundland and buy a mountain of tinselly stuff for a few quid, if that's what you want. It's just a matter of preference, but as I get older I'm really starting to hate all the tinsel, wrapping presents, christmas food, etc, so I aim to keep things as low key as possible without spoiling it for my family.

Dowser Tue 02-Dec-14 10:18:12

I love a simple Christmas. The simpler the better. I cant stand the craziness.

On Christmas day everyone contributes to the meal and gifts are no more than £30 each often much less.

I made spiced fruit rings as decor last year and they survived and still smell gorgeous. These cost £12 each in shops and I got three for much less than£12.

Im making another one later with £2 of fruit.

Decor is Christmas bunting and an advent calendar in bunting bought last year and will last for donkeys years.

The tree is at least fifteen years old. There will be lots of candles and the smell of cloves, orange, lemon, cinnamon, lime

I prefer winterval to Christmas.

LittleBearPad Tue 02-Dec-14 10:23:06

Simplicity costs money if it's a certain type of simplicity.

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