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OTT Christmasses - let's fight back!

186 replies

consuelapipkin · 09/10/2018 09:50

I have discovered an interesting thing. If you tell the kids Santa has been and unleash them on their presents and chuck them a selection box they are just as happy (if not happier!) than the Christmasses when you grind yourself into the ground and end up in tears.

What can you drop from your Christmas to make life easier and enjoy the day more?

I DO love Christmas, but I think it should be more fun for Mums.

Who's with me?

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Starlive23 · 09/10/2018 10:08

This year I'm dropping the presents for all and sundry! Normally skint myself out buying for co-workers, stuff for friends and we have all decided to buy for the kids and buy each other a drink during the course of the year... hopefully will result in less tat also!

consuelapipkin · 09/10/2018 10:10

Well done Starlive23

I like the way you think!

You will be surprised by how many of your friends and coworkers secretly wanted to do the same and are relieved you had the nerve to start it off.

It's all very freeing!

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Chrisinthemorning · 09/10/2018 10:12

Dropping Christmas dinner and having afternoon tea instead.Grin

consuelapipkin · 09/10/2018 10:13

I will modify my OP. Christmas should be more fun for EVERYONE!! Too many people don't enjoy it and I believe it's because of the weight of expectations we put on ourselves.

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consuelapipkin · 09/10/2018 10:13

Great stuff, Chris Grin

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Storm4star · 09/10/2018 10:15

I've stopped buying enough food to feed the 5000! For a long time I was stuck in that thing of stocking up (from the old days when shops used to be closed!) and buying a ton of treats that sat there through January! Now I just buy my normal food, plus Christmas dinner and just a couple of small treats. We don't eat all that many snacks the rest of the year so I don't know why I think we'd eat them at Christmas! (As we never do!).

consuelapipkin · 09/10/2018 10:15

Let's make Christmas 2018 the year we change the festive season for good.

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consuelapipkin · 09/10/2018 10:18


OTT Christmasses - let's fight back!
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SuchAToDo · 09/10/2018 10:19

I'm only sending Christmas cards to immediate family a few friends and neighbours..I used to send out loads to extended family and friends and acquaintances and not get a single card back year after year...so I'm only sending cards and gifts to the family, the few friends and neighbours that do send me cards and gifts in return.
.it saves me a fortune...

Also I set a limit on what each present will cost...it saves getting myself into.debt

consuelapipkin · 09/10/2018 10:22


Yes, I've cut way back on the food too.

I now buy special stuff we wouldn't normally have and if it takes us from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day, I'm fine with that. Then, it's back to normal. Better for the budget, waistline, food waste, my acid reflux...

As you say, the shops are open most of the time now. I too remember the olden days when it all shut down. It's funny how we can still react to that panic feeling - those of us who remember it.

It's all conditioning, this Christmas stress I feel.

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PhilomenaButterfly · 09/10/2018 10:23

consuela you've just described my Christmas!

consuelapipkin · 09/10/2018 10:24


Excellent ideas. Better for the planet too.

Great you won't get into debt for Christmas. How can we enjoy Christmas worrying about debt? I enjoy shopping for presents with a much, much smaller budget. I know that sounds weird, but it's kind of fun.

I also don't get a nasty credit card bill in January. I hated that feeling - all the fun forgotten and having to pay the piper for months afterwards. So not worth it!

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consuelapipkin · 09/10/2018 10:25



Since I cut back, I swear I am enjoying Christmas MORE! It's so weird, I'd never have believed it until I tried it.

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sparkly72 · 09/10/2018 10:25

I've been doing this for a few years... actually trying to do it... not sure I succeed. I fall down when it comes to the kids... I need help on how to cut down their pressies without cutting down the magic

PhilomenaButterfly · 09/10/2018 10:30

I did buy mounds of food, but there are 4 of us, and 1 of us is 7, so really half an adult foodwise, so we couldn't eat it all! I'll buy myself some Gruyere and poppy seed twists, whatever the DC choose for treats, DH doesn't do the Christmas snacking thing, and that's it!

consuelapipkin · 09/10/2018 10:34


That's a tough call for mums, I agree.

How old are the children? If very young, you could look up ideas to build up the magic inexpensively. For instance, we were always short of money growing up, but we had magical Christmasses thanks to mum.

She would do things like jingle little bells outside our bedroom on Christmas Eve as we were going to sleep. Putting out the snacks for Santa. Walking through the woods collecting pine-cones and spraying them with gold paint for decorations. Making decorations. Doing a bit of baking. Even if you don't normally bake, children love making cookies and gingerbread men. Use Internet to find magical movies with messages about Christmas not being all about getting stuff. Learning Christmas songs on an instrument (recorder, xylophone, whatever). That's the kind of stuff I remember more than any particular presents.

I know Christmas is a lot more commercial nowadays and it's harder than ever for parents.

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maddening · 09/10/2018 10:35

I have been experiencing lovely Christmases for years _

Xmas eve go out for a meal with mil and have Xmas drinks

Xmas day - just the three of us at home, easy day ds opening and playing with presents. Dh makes lunch and we all chill out and watch films etc

Boxing day go to my parents or go out with them for a film at the cinema and for dinner

It is totally fab

consuelapipkin · 09/10/2018 10:37

I'll buy myself some Gruyere and poppy seed twists, whatever the DC choose for treats, DH doesn't do the Christmas snacking thing, and that's it!

That's the way! No Christmas poundage to lose come January either Smile

This year, I am looking at a fruit haul. Will buy fancy more expensive fruit than I'd normally buy for myself. I usually only buy apples and bananas. I will buy myself a pineapple and grapes and all sorts this year! A healthy treat iyswim.

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notacooldad · 09/10/2018 10:38

Well I've volunteered to work Christmas Eve into Christmas Day.
That way I get double pay plus time off in lieu and by the time I get home dinner will be just about being served.
No stress for me!
( probably not quite what you are looking for though)

PhilomenaButterfly · 09/10/2018 10:38

That's a good idea too!

consuelapipkin · 09/10/2018 10:39


Great to hear from someone else who enjoys Christmas because they keep it simple.

I was just thinking the other day how much I love Christmas now - I have got the feeling back I used to have as a child. Well, not quite - even I know about Santa now Wink

I want others to have that feeling if they have lost it. I read so many threads here about stress and I feel sad that for a lot of people, especially women thanks to Wife Work, dread this time of year. It really shouldn't be this way.

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consuelapipkin · 09/10/2018 10:40


That's great - really it is!

That's what it is all about, I think. Maybe the season work for YOU. If you aren't dreading Christmas and feeling stressed, you are on the right track in my book Smile

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Lydiaatthebarre · 09/10/2018 10:41

I've cut back hugely on all the mad socialising, 'must meet up with that person for Christmas', 'must get that group together for a Christmas meal' etc and also opted out of the office party. It's really not necessary to meet up with every friend you've ever had simply because it's December.

I've also realised that shop bought canapés all taste the same, and people actually love plain old cocktail sausages, crisps and maybe some smoked salmon on brown bread.

consuelapipkin · 09/10/2018 10:44


Good point!

Yes, the relentless socialising - another load of pressure and running yourself ragged when there's really no need. Believe me, if we are feeling stressed about all this, so are most others. It just takes someone to make a stand!

people actually love plain old cocktail sausages, crisps and maybe some smoked salmon on brown bread

Absolutely. People love these things and there are no rules that say we MUST eat stuff just because it's festive even if we don't really want it. The number of people who buy, cook and eat turkey whilst saying the don't even like it amazes me Shock

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Rememberallball · 09/10/2018 10:45

We are moving house in the coming weeks, having IVF abroad and going away on a cruise with our return on 21st December. We might be going away again on 28th December if money allows. I’m trying to persuade DH that, instead of cooking Christmas dinner, we should go to a pub/restaurant/hotel for Christmas lunch and save the fuss of doing it at home for just 2 of us - still waiting for his final decision (by which time there might not be anywhere available for us to book!!)

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