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To think there's a lot of competitive crap at Christmas time?

(20 Posts)
Fallingovercliffs Thu 11-Dec-14 11:57:48

Who has the best most colour co-ordinated decorations; who has all their presents bought and wrapped; who has the busiest social calendar; who gets the most Christmas cards; etc etc etc

AIBU to sometimes let it get to me instead of just getting on with my own Christmas and letting them get on with their's smile

Empha14 Thu 11-Dec-14 12:06:17

Who really cares what others have done/ are doing for Xmas. Reducing it to a pissing contest is sad.

Just let them get on with it.

PeggaPip Thu 11-Dec-14 12:11:41

Ah yes, and the picture of the enormous pile of presents posted on Facebook with the caption 'Don't think I've got enuf prezzies for Kayden/Tia-Maii gna av 2 get more'

Fallingovercliffs Thu 11-Dec-14 12:18:49

I'm not on Facebook thank God. I think that would really send me over the edge.

I just happened to mention to a friend that I'd be in the City shopping this Sunday if she was free for a meet up before Christmas. I got an email back saying she wasn't free as had a lunch on; and then added 'and am not free next weekend and have work party next Friday and book club drinks on Thursday and am going to old job's party tonight. Will be wrecked by Christmas day LOL.'

I only asked if she was free for an hour on Sunday, not for her social calendar for the rest of the month <Grinch>

OnIlkleyMoorBahTwat Thu 11-Dec-14 12:32:34


Christmas is now a totally out of control consumer-fest and I ignore it as much as possible, and do you know what, the world hasn’t stopped turning.

The best bit is having over a week off work and we spend it seeing the family, watching films on TV, reading, going out for walks and bike rides and eating and drinking a few extra treats (but I generally eat and drink what I want all year round, so I don’t feel the need for a blow out ‘because it’s Christmas’).

I don’t buy any presents for adults except my parents and that’s just bottles of Champagne and foodie treats. I just buy for nieces and nephews under 18 and then just a smallish present.

I don’t like shopping and think most of the ‘potential Christmas presents’ in the shops are over-priced rubbish even when on ‘3 for 2’. Who really falls for the Boots 3 for 2 gift sets con? Even when they sell it all off at half price after Christmas it’s still mostly poor value for money and overpackaged shite. A cheap deodorant and shower gel in far too much packaging is not a present!

But as well as the best decorations/most presents/most events, people seem to spend an awful lot of time and money on things that they don’t want to do, but feel obliged to. Why not stop, seriously?

There was a thread yesterday about buying nasty presents for people that you don’t like, to make a point! Why not buy them nothing at all?

I make the little effort that I can be bothered with, and sod everyone else's bonkers expectations.

Aherdofmims Thu 11-Dec-14 12:40:14

When this all happened I thank God I am (broadly) religious.

(there is meant to be irony in the above btw. Although it does help to think of Christmas as a religious festival akin to Chanukah Eid etc. Who feels need to babankrupt themselves then?)

NoSundayWorkingPlease Thu 11-Dec-14 12:43:29

I notice it with the speed of being 'all done' with presents. Last week a woman at work asked if I was 'all finished' with my shopping (two dc aged 6 and 4). I swear she nearly fainted when I said I'd not started yet.

I don't get the mad rush and panic at the beginning of December. Seriously, why?

I've been off work Tue-Thurs this week. On Tue I made a list of all I wanted to buy for the dc for Xmas. Yesterday dh and I went shopping for about 4 hours to look at the things on the list in the flesh to see which version to buy (like a Chemistry set for ds1 - lots of variations). We walked around, I made a few notes on price and nice looking things. We had a nice lunch.

Today I've sat online for 2 hours and bought everything in one go as I've used online offers to lower the price. It will all be delivered by Tuesday and wrapped over the next few days. Done.

It will only be as stressful as you make it.

MarjorieMelon Thu 11-Dec-14 12:46:04

Christmas has always been too commercial in my life-time anyway and I am guilty of buying into the whole communerism myself. In the last couple of years it has got worse and something has changed, I can't quite put my finger on what it is but some of the magic has gone and it does feel like a competition.

MarjorieMelon Thu 11-Dec-14 12:46:51

Communerism? Sorry the auto-correct is going crazy!

Fallingovercliffs Thu 11-Dec-14 12:52:45

That's how I feel Marjorie. It's like in the last couple of years I've suddenly seen through the hype and commercialism and just don't want to be part of it anymore. I think it's partly because I don't work in the City anymore so am removed from a lot of the madness, and partly because my Dad died in 2012 and I can see the sadness in Christmas time now as well as the celebratory side.

I've started to long for carol services and old fashioned Christmas sales and picking holly etc and don't particularly want to spend December rushing around pubs and restaurants and trying to find parking in crowded shopping centres etc etc. It's just starting to look shallow and stressful and I wish we could go back to simple, peaceful Christmases that start in December, not October, and aren't centred around spending sackloads of money.

Shenanagins Thu 11-Dec-14 12:58:20

It is reassuring that its not just me that thinks it has all got out of hand recently.

i have two small children and love introducing them to the magic of Christmas but they get far too much. In addition to the Santa presents, they will get ones from my friends (likewise I get for theirs) and in all honesty it is too much which they will not appreciate.

I think next year i will suggest not giving each others kids Christmas presents to scale it back a little.

MarjorieMelon Thu 11-Dec-14 13:26:17

I think that's just it fallingovercliffs as you get older and you lose loved ones the hype and the advertising leaves you cold. You want Christmas to be about love and spending time with family not a competition to see who has drunk the most bottles of prosecco or who has the best tree.

Even simple things have been ruined. Our Christmas light switch-on is so full of people that it feels unsafe and definitely not Christmassy. It's full of fairground rides and overpriced products. The community spirit of the event has gone.

I'm trying to scale down our celebrations a little each year. All I really want is spend the time with dh and my children. to visit family at some point over the period and remember those no longer with us. The children have some lovely simple Christmas events at their schools and we like to get involved in those. I don't feel the need to do "everything" christmas related and I'm sure my children are not missing out.

HollyJollyXmas Thu 11-Dec-14 13:28:44

Its competitive and consumerist if you get sucked in!

Christmas hasnt changed since the 1970s for us grin.

The kids get slightly better presents than I did as a child, as we arent as broke as my parents were, but there is certainly no competition and we dont go mental with spending, buying, consuming or 'celebrating'.

Waltonswatcher Thu 11-Dec-14 13:34:27

I bought a little book a friend has written called 'Christmas at Crumble Cottage ' by Stephen Yorke .
It's about the simplicity of christmas,the traditions and joy .
At first glance it's a beautifully illustrated kids book, but it isn't .
For all of you longing for life before shopping centres , this is a neat little book.

JoyceDivision Thu 11-Dec-14 13:40:04

The only stressful thing is waiting for DDs party dress (2nd hand off ebay!) and a very very fantasical sign that I have ordered to be delivered....

Once the postie has dropped these off my baileys and jim jams sesh shall commence!

Oh and I keep having a nosey on the secret santa thread to see if the person I sent the gift to has received it yet!

5Foot5 Thu 11-Dec-14 13:55:37

Do you know I have never noticed anything competitive about Christmas. I just get on and do what I have to / want to do with and for my family and don't really take any notice of what others are up to.

I do tend to start planning Christmas gifts in November at least just because I do want to avoid any last minute stress and wondering what to buy someone with the clock ticking.

Also I have made a few gifts this year so that needs time and planning.

When I read comments like:
In the last couple of years it has got worse and something has changed, I can't quite put my finger on what it is but some of the magic has gone and it does feel like a competition. (not just singling that poster out as there were other similar posts)

it reminds me of when I was a child in the 60s and 70s and hearing my Mum say "Oh they have spoiled Christmas these days". Even then I used to wonder who "they" were. Basically it is not a new idea that Christmas has become commercialised, people have been commenting on that for two or three generations. But really you make your own Christmas and there is no "they" responsible for spoiling it. Take as much or as little notice of the commercial stuff as pleases you

Treats Thu 11-Dec-14 14:04:14

I agree with 5Foot5 - our DCs will look back on Christmas 2014 with fondness and nostalgically remember it as a time when it was simple and everybody gave each other really quite cheap gifts and didn't go overboard with Christmas dinner or decorations. None of the rush and hype and tacky commercialism that they have to deal with......

Maybe smile

ChickenMe Thu 11-Dec-14 14:06:56

I notice it but I am pretty tight Lol so I am not bothered by it.

Sadly, in my extended family, I get the impression that the people who are bankrupting themselves are those who can least afford to. They spend shed loads for the sake of it. Because to them it means "I love you". And a little bit of "love me too". To me "I love you" would be something that's really me-even if it cost less. ("I love you" also means sugary treats to them)

I wonder if those with the least money feel most affected by the consumerism. Maybe because it's harder to be forced to scrimp rather than to make a choice to.

OnIlkleyMoorBahTwat Thu 11-Dec-14 14:07:39

YY 5foot5, I don't feel any pressure to do that much and when I see the people with decorations all over the outside of the house, or massive piles of gifts for dozens of people, I just think 'how could you be bothered?'.

I think last year was when we had the first hints of 'Black Friday' and this year it was ten times bigger and it's possible that it's something to do with the shops desperately trying to ramp up sales?

I don't understand where a lot of people get their money from TBH. The economy is still in a mess and wages are stagnating, yet there's lots of people buying armfuls of stuff, a lot of which is utterly pointless tat confused.

But I suppose we should be grateful to all those that are buying loads of stuff because if everyone had the same attitude as me, the recession would last for the next 50 years.

Fallingovercliffs Thu 11-Dec-14 14:16:18

I was at the hairdressers on Sat and a woman beside me was telling the girl cutting her hair that she had bought her 15 year old daughter a ticket to New York for Christmas (and one for herself obvs to accompany the daughter). From other things she said I didn't get the impression they were particularly flush with money.
I also saw someone talking on telly the other evening about how money is so tight she sometimes barely has enough food for the family coming up to pay day. Then a couple of shots later she was talking about how she was taking her sons to Eurodisney as their Santa present.

I just find that kind of madness coming more and more to the fore at Christmas time nowadays. I know it's easy to look back with rose tinted spectacles, and maybe our parent's generation thought it was crazy that kids were getting bikes and dolls' houses for Christmas; but it does seem to be getting crazier and crazier every year.

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