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TO feel so liberated by low key Christmas

(43 Posts)
Moomoomango Wed 26-Oct-16 10:09:44

This is the first year we are actively doing a low key Christmas because of financial reasons, we are only buying for children in the family (of which apart from my two there is only one) and I'm going to get my parents a voucher for a meal at a nice local fish restaurant as they have everything they need. We don't do gifts for our friends and vice versa as pretty much everyone is saving for a house/wedding/baby and so not having to spend money on presents for each other is a freeing experience for us all. My partner and I will spend about 75 pounds on each other and we have spent about 100 per child. I'm not even doing a christmas food shop this year as my parents are hosting and I don't think we need boxes of chocs and mince pies in our house. Our total spend for Christmas is going to be about 400.

This is so liberating. I feel like
I'm cheating, like I've sneakily got away with something really really cheeky.

Our usual spend is probably easily double that... but I'm feeling so much happier with less money spent, less stress and hopefully a nice chilled Christmas with loved ones.

Anyone else doing low key and totally liberated ?!

Misssss Wed 26-Oct-16 10:15:44

We're doing similar. I just hate the effort of spending hours shopping and invariably being given something I don't want back.

This year I'm only buying gifts for children of immediate family members. So only three. They can have £100 each and I'll spend the rest on getting some sunshine over Christmas.

specialsubject Wed 26-Oct-16 10:19:54

still huge amounts on gifts, but if you can afford it, so what.

Stopping buying.for each other is great - saves a lot of effort and waste.

RosieposiePuddingandPi Wed 26-Oct-16 10:23:53

We're doing low key in our household this year as I'm due DC1 at the beginning of Jan so don't want to be stressed or broke over Christmas. It does feel lovely to know that I'm heading for a nice quiet, low key festive season rather than spending loads and rushing around smile

CigarsofthePharoahs Wed 26-Oct-16 10:25:12

Our family agreed a few years ago to only buy for the children. It really does make a big difference, especially as some of the adults in my family are notoriously difficult to buy gifts for!
DH and I have gone one step further and we have decided we want a very quiet Christmas as last year was chaotic and unpleasant. We're staying at home. I thought this might annoy people but actually my siblings are agreeing that not having to travel and feeling able to do their own thing is actually quite nice. Nobody is going to end up on their own.
I'm really looking forward to a lazy Christmas morning in my PJ's and doing our dinner exactly how we like it and not a variety of increasingly grumpy people telling me they think I'm doing it wrong.

ExConstance Wed 26-Oct-16 10:25:16

I agree in relation to all the cooking and extra food - and presents for people you don't know well. I would find it very sad not to treat DH though, I usually spend over £300 on one really nice present and a pillow case full of things like books, music, things he has mentioned he would like and then forgotten about and small items of clothing, maybe a small amount of really nice chocolate. etc. etc. I get really excited about doing this and the wrapping of all the little things (and I hate wrapping parcels) is a real pleasure for me. He does the same and then we sit in bed like a couple of excited children on Christmas Day going through our goodies.
I still do pillowcases for our two sons too (25 and 22)as it is a family tradition.

Lorelei76 Wed 26-Oct-16 10:40:23

But is there a point to the £75 on each other?

BarbaraofSeville Wed 26-Oct-16 11:02:13

YANBU. Make Christmas what you want. No need to spend hours and loads of money buying stuff nobody wants. No need to buy food that no-one really likes (eg Christmas pudding). No need to buy loads of crap that the shops want you to buy, but is a total waste of money.

We buy very little and have no DCs ourselves, so just buy for nieces and nephews and our DMs (both DFs deceased) and token presents for each other as we just buy what we want or need when we want it.

I see no need in me seeing an item I want and saying to DP 'buy me X item from Y shop for Christmas'.

To us, Christmas is time off work, watching films or crap TV with a bit of nice food and drink, a trip to the city to see the Christmas lights and have a couple of drinks or a meal out, country walks if the weather isn't too bad, see family for a bit, but no big events, lie ins and afternoon naps etc.

Plus we're off on holiday to the Canaries in mid December (I can't bring myself to pay twice as much to go over the Christmas period, much as I would like to) so if anyone makes any snide comments about our lack of spending at Christmas, we can just say we're a bit skint after the holiday, but in reality, I just don't buy into the great retail machine and think the ' you need to buy all this crap to have a good Christmas' has got far far too much.

JellyBelli Wed 26-Oct-16 11:06:26

YANBU, it is liberating. We just have a nice roast dinner and exchange one small gift and a scratch card. We cant afford to do it any differently, so its tough. We may as well enjoy it than be miserable about it..

ScarletSienna Wed 26-Oct-16 11:20:45

YANBU! We felt ridiculously liberated when we decided not to buy each other Christmas presents. We buy for our son and family but just buy each other a Christmas tree decoration. It means we look carefully for a really meaningful or just lovely decoration. Each year we love adding new ones to the tree and looking at previous years' ones. It saved us a decent amount of money!

autumnintheair Wed 26-Oct-16 11:22:37

I have been doing it for a while.

Yes its wonderful, every year we have a stock gift we give to the older family members and usually we don't buy for each other - no other close family members to buy for really. Dh family is a family of re gifters, I spent years agnoising over what to buy for people I know very little....and DH hardly knows anything about them after seeing a much thought out and personal gift to THEM re gifted....One year I said ENOUGH and its been great.

But we are also on a small budget and we have two dc, no one else in the family really buys for them, ie no great spoiling by GPs or aunts its up to us.
So all my time and energy goes on them esp as they are small and believe in FC.
No big shop here either this year, I LOVE doing a christms shop but we cant eat it all and seems silly, so this year and hoping to simply do normal shop but with a few extras.

The only thing is op - be aware of getting carried away nearer the time grin, i dont buy any xmas food in advance now either.

hotdiggedy Wed 26-Oct-16 11:24:27

That sounds like a normal/expensive Christmas to me but then if you were previously spending much more then good for you! every little helps.

JustHappy3 Wed 26-Oct-16 11:28:16

Your cutting back/low key is my normal. But i appreciate where you are coming from. Sometimes it's nice to think you won't conform to what you think is expected. Enjoy the season.

BarbaraofSeville Wed 26-Oct-16 11:28:52

Unless there is something we really really want that might sell out, we generally wait and see what chocolates etc we get for Christmas before buying more, otherwise you just end up with loads that you eat because it's there.

Another little tradition that we've started is to go into the city centre on Boxing Day for a quick look in the sales and then brunch or sometimes just hot chocolates - the shops often don't open while 10 and it can be bearable for the first hour.

I like to get a calendar for my office and the Hotel Chocolat Chrismas special box for half price, instead of paying full price in the days before Christmas.

NapQueen Wed 26-Oct-16 11:33:50

We always go to my mums and our contribution is the turkey and some Cheeses to add to the board.

Dh and I are having a surprise weekend away (mega mega cheap due to my work) which is a surprise for him and will be our Christmas gift.

Kids are 2 and 5 and after going ott last year and their bdays weeks before Xmas are getting 4 wrapped gifts and a Stocking of little small cheap stuff.

I've given up doing cards, and reigning it in with the adults gifts focusing on the kids in the family.

The only nibbles we will keep in will be for dh and I for Christmas day eve.

Sgtmajormummy Wed 26-Oct-16 11:34:27

We're getting a load of flat-pack delivered to an empty house on 22nd December and it will be a case of "if you want to sleep MAKE your own bed". So if the kitchen isn't up and running it will be sandwiches for Christmas meals.
GREAT! I'm sure we'll remember it better than the stress-filled eating fests of other years. Our family has now dwindled to four people so nobody to invite or disappoint. A couple of gifts each and we're sorted.
Can't wait.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Wed 26-Oct-16 11:39:17

As a family we have decided to do the same this year.

My family (as in us, siblings and their family and my parents) are going away together for a few days between Christmas and new year so we have decided that Christmas itself will be low key.

MaitlandGirl Wed 26-Oct-16 11:41:34

We had a low key Christmas last year (doing the same this year) and it was great. The kids are 15-20 so understand that money is tight and it took all the pressure off.

We budgeted for $100 each person (3 x teens, MIL, FIL, BIL and each other) and spent pretty much that.

We went for quantity over quality and it was so much fun smile

This year is 'something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read'.

IckleWicklePumperNickle Wed 26-Oct-16 11:42:15

That's still a lot. But if you can afford it, why not. We only do small presents. DS1 is the only one that gets a bigger present multiple ones.
DS2 is still very small.
We do a proper Christmas, but don't spent a fortune.

Notso Wed 26-Oct-16 11:46:11

Are you contributing to dinner at your parents?

Yakitori Wed 26-Oct-16 11:49:45

Our total spend for Christmas is going to be about 400

Our isn't much more than that for a normal-key Christmas, probably more if we are doing Christmas dinner. I buy presents for around ten people, that's it. But well done on cutting back, OP.

Happyhippy45 Wed 26-Oct-16 11:54:16

We do low key as the norm. We have a family get together, food is fairly simple and not usually turkey. Kids in family (3) are all adults now so they get £50 in a card and a small gift.
Adults get homemade gifts. Chutneys, jams, candles, soaps etc. Prob costs between £10-15 per person for materials.
I've not done cards for years now.
I like Christmas because of family getting together. Can't stand all the tat that goes with it.

Onnapostit Wed 26-Oct-16 11:57:34

I love Christmas now.

We all stay in our own house Christmas eve and day (rotating the grandparents as guests), but the rest of the holiday are happy to visit parents or siblings. Because neither of us will be driving, we can crack open a bottle of prosecco late morning. I plan a meal that we all like. And we can open a nice wine.

Santa brings one requested present, a surprise one and a stocking for everyone. Mum and dad also give one present. By the time grandparents, aunts and uncles all give theirs, DC have quite a haul. Grandparents get a gift from us, and DP's family put their names in a hat and buy for one with a strict budget. On our side, we only buy for godchildren as each of us is a godparent to one. DP and I exchange one gift too, usually reasonably priced.

Nearly all presents are ordered online or click and collect. Did enough trailing around high street in the pissing rain on Christmas Eve.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Wed 26-Oct-16 11:57:39

£100 on someone else's child seems a lot but you know your own set up. ie it could be a godchild or a child who is very close to your own and it's a nice trade off to not have to buy for the parents.

I get where you are coming from but so far have only nipped it in the bud with friends with children of a similar age. They suddenly started producing presents a few years back and I was like WTF? So we've all agreed that they get enough stuff from family and killed that one stone dead this year. My own family is very low key so only buy a token gift for my parents from me and my siblings so that's nice and easy. DH's family are another issue but thankfully small in number. They are more hassle than my entire family combined though. I'd prefer not to do gifts at all !

LadyConstanceDeCoverlet Wed 26-Oct-16 11:58:01

Our oven has packed up and there is no prospect of getting it sorted before Christmas as it's ancient and realistically the entire kitchen needs to be redone. So we're going out for Christmas lunch, cue moans of horror from the family at not having the traditional lunch slaved over cooked by me. But I'm absolutely delighted. thlgrin

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