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To opt out completely when we have children?

(165 Posts)
swansolistice Fri 25-Dec-15 12:49:55

I used to like Christmas, but threads here and the huge piles of gifts on Facebook make me feel faintly nauseous. The sheer amount is obscene.

I hate the threads about who has more, who had more spent on them, who had more presents.

I know I'm being a complete Scrooge but semi-seriously, WIBVU to take child(ren) away to a lovely remote cottage in Wales or Scotland or the heart of England and have Christmas there without any of the excess?

BooAvenue Fri 25-Dec-15 12:52:35

YANBU I'm seriously considering taking just the four of us to some remote cottage in Scotland and hiding away from all the mania next year.

It's DS's first Christmas and he's the prodigal first grandson on both sides (I have a DD and four nieces) and the only baby so I'm barely getting to hold my own son sad.

B33rTricksPott3r Fri 25-Dec-15 12:53:18

Nope, YANBU. That's exactly what I'm doing. Not because anyone else's plans or present piles annoy me, each to their own, but because it is remote and peaceful and exactly the sort of Christmas I want.
We take a few presents, the food we need with a top up trip to a nice supermarket a few days before and then just relax.

Sandalwearingdoglady Fri 25-Dec-15 12:54:01

Your Christmas, your rules. We have ours at home, just us, in our pjs. We spread out the present opening so it lasts all morning instead of everything opened and done in 5 minutes. That way we get to appreciate everything properly.We have a nice breakfast and a nice dinner and that's it. I don't really feel that I need to be in a remote cottage in Wales to do that, each to their own I guess.

NeedsAMousekatool Fri 25-Dec-15 12:56:02

Whatever floats your boat. We are having a lovely relaxed day at home, DD got exactly 4 presents from us one of which is a flannel and one is a book that I would have got anyway, no need to drive miles and spend a fortune on a holiday rental.

swansolistice Fri 25-Dec-15 12:56:29

Yes, but I'm talking NO presents! Scrooge NO turkey dinner veggies anyway and it's always hard to not get sucked into it. For weeks people have been asking me what I'm doing for Christmas and you feel a bit weird to keep saying nothing, even though I've phrased it as 'oh just having a quiet one!'

RudeElf Fri 25-Dec-15 12:56:49

I actually woke this morning before the DC and whereas normally i would do a bit of MNing i knew all the moaning would depress me before the day had even started so i didnt.

NeedsAMousekatool Fri 25-Dec-15 12:59:20

You don't intend to buy your future DC any christmas presents? Ooookay, good luck with that one. Still, as I said, whatever floats your boat.

swansolistice Fri 25-Dec-15 13:01:06

I didn't say I didn't intend to exactly mouse, but to me that's what opting out would be, yes.

It all feels faintly obscene, from where I'm sitting anyway.

Sparklingbrook Fri 25-Dec-15 13:02:18

I think you might run into problems as soon as these DC are teens if that's what you intend to do.

The remote cottage in Wales needs WiFi at the very least.....

Jollyphonics Fri 25-Dec-15 13:04:37

I hate the excess too. I remember cycling round Zanzibar one December, and meeting a lot of people who had nothing. I returned to England just before Christmas, and was sickened by the commercial excess.

However, OP I think it depends on your kids, how old they are and whether or not they'd be on board with your plan. Whilst I think it's important kids learn about what really matters, I also think it would be unfair to impose your Christmas beliefs on them when all their mates will be getting lots of presents.

swansolistice Fri 25-Dec-15 13:04:48

I know sparkling, but to be honest realistically we will always struggle to keep up with the joneses where Christmas is concerned, not least because there's no extended family whatsoever so the only presents will come from us and I certainly don't want to be in a position where my child is whining because they got 2 presents and their best friend got 22, ignoring their friends aunties and uncles and grandparents.

Running away might work. It might fgrin

swansolistice Fri 25-Dec-15 13:05:29

As above jolly, unfortunately we'll always struggle with 'loads of presents'

NeedsAMousekatool Fri 25-Dec-15 13:05:33

But you just did say "I'm talking no presents". I don't see how you would explain to a 5 year old that they're getting no christmas presents because other people in the past bought what you consider to be too many or an obscene amount, but as I said you have to do what works for you.

However I suspect you actually mean 'everyone else is being unreasonable for going overboard at Christmas', in which case YABU.

shebird Fri 25-Dec-15 13:06:00

I think you can still make your own Christmas and have a special day without buying into the whole over the top present mania thing. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

Sparklingbrook Fri 25-Dec-15 13:06:05

One of DS1's friends has had a car. grin

Jollyphonics Fri 25-Dec-15 13:07:05

Sorry I missed that you don't have kids yet. I think you may feel differently when you do.

B33rTricksPott3r Fri 25-Dec-15 13:07:47

DS has never compared the number of presents he has with anyone else's. He talks to his mates about what they got for Christmas but not in a competitive way.
It's a bit skewed and unrealistic on here and on FB tbh. Most people just get stuff, open stuff, like stuff and you can teach DC that from the start.

Bunbaker Fri 25-Dec-15 13:08:14

There is a middle way. DD (15) got a handful of presents and some money and she is happy with that. So are we. At least I haven't got to find space for a load of unwanted tat and toiletries that I have to regift.

AnnaMarlowe Fri 25-Dec-15 13:08:43

Your child, your rules.

But it doesn't have to be famine or feast you know.

My own DCs have had a small pile of presents each which they are very happy with. We're having a quiet morning with GPs arriving with their presents later on.

We'll have a lovely family meal together and play with the children. No stress no fuss.

I cook enough for everyone but there won't be days of leftovers.

I take my DC to donate to the local food bank a few days before Christmas in order to remind them that not everyone is as fortunate as us and they also selected presents to give to a children's charity via the local church.

It is possible to have a lovely, happy family Christmas, without obscene excess. And without running away.

It's all about finding a balance and teaching the children to do the same.

LagunaBubbles Fri 25-Dec-15 13:11:50

You do what you want but I get a bit tired of others judging people who want to spoil their children at Christmas. I work hard all year and we as a family love Christmas and if I want to buy them loads and have a big dinner up at the table I will....nothing "obscene" about that.

MrsDeVere Fri 25-Dec-15 13:12:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

swansolistice Fri 25-Dec-15 13:13:48

Mouse, I'm not bothered by what others do but comparison does seem to work two ways and I have seen several threads or posts concerned by the fact that in essence others have more than them.

Jolly I want to keep the Christmas spirit alive but please don't patronise me smile

Anna, the balance you describe will never be possible for us, ever.

It's good to know that a middle ground is possible.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Fri 25-Dec-15 13:15:52

You can do a lovely, magical Christmas without the excess - a delicious dinner that doesn't have to be a turkey the size of a Mini Cooper, stockings full of fun, inexpensive gifts, presents that mean something, that the child will love and enjoy - that's what we do.

We don't go overboard on presents, and neither do the dses' extended family - what we have is perfect for us - and you, swan can make a Christmas that suits your family perfectly, and who cares if it's not the same as everyone else's?

One thing I have found is that it is often the most surprising gift that gives the most pleasure - I well remember one year when my lovely MIL gave the boys, jointly, a toy Dyson. Ds3, then about 2.5, fell head over heels in love with it, and hugged it to him all afternoon - and it went on being a toy they enjoyed playing with.

Likewise, ds1, aged about 14, got the frame for a jump bike - not the rest of the bits, just the frame - but it was perfect for him, and he spent all day sitting next to it, stroking it lovingly - it gave him huge pleasure (and building the bike with his dad gave him yet more), and the delight it gave him, and watching his joy, gave us such huge pleasure too.

Neither of these things were expensive - but they joy they gave was priceless - and you can create a Christmas that does that, without mounds and mounds of presents or enough food to feed half the town.

I suspect that, for every picture of Christmas Excess, on FB, there are 99 more households doing my sort of Christmas - and also, the wildly excessive Christmas pictures are the ones that catch the attention.

Birdsgottafly Fri 25-Dec-15 13:16:37

Well this is just one of those things you judge pre children.

Then you have children and cringe and what you once came out with.

Some people buy stuff all year round, others buy at main times, Christmas/Easter and include clothes and shoes.

I'm Vegan and I don't like excess, I wish the shite that most people fill 'Stockings' with, would die out and other landfill/water polluting tat would stop being bought.

But we do need a level of consumerism for our (and others) economy to survive.

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