OTT Christmasses - let's fight back!
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?
Allergictoironing · 09/10/2018 11:16
The brussel sprout comment made me think. Mentally go through the list of "traditional" accompaniments for XMas dinner & get rid of any that aren't actively enjoyed by at least half the attendees e.g. if I was having dinner with my DSis & nephew, I may love parsnips but my DSis dislikes them & nephew doesn't care either way, so those would be off the list. DSis & nephew like roasties & I don't particularly, they are on the list. We are all OK with sprouts, but nobody loves them as such so they are off the list.
DSis actively dislikes turkey, so we do a different meat. We don't usually have starters anyway, so no point in having them then. And we all hate XMas pud so we have home made Chocolate Log instead.
"Traditions" are another one you can reduce in the same way, especially as there seem to be loads of "must do" things these days that I'd never heard of until recently - elf on a bloody shelf, XMas eve boxes, big price advent calendars costing as much as half the actual gifts (I'm old enough to remember the start of chocolate ones rather than just glitter & pictures!). You can create your own family traditions that are based around ways to get everyone else to muck in (and save money at the same time .
ankasi · 09/10/2018 11:17
In my family we don't do Christmas presents for the adults anymore, only for the children of which there will be two this year.
And no one will buy any rubbish for them, my sister suggests what they need and the rest of the family buy it together. Nothing over the top and no plastic toys, either.
We celebrate on Christmas Eve and will have Raclette for dinner, everyone will bring something, so it's not too much work for one person. (That won't stop my aunt from being stressed, though). Maybe Midnight Mass, if we're not too tired.
On Christmas day, it'll be a slightly more elaborate Sunday lunch with coffee and cake later in the afternoon and a walk in between.
As I live in a different country than the rest of my family, I just appreciate spending time with them and seeing friends.
consuelapipkin · 09/10/2018 11:20
The brussel sprout comment made me think. Mentally go through the list of "traditional" accompaniments for XMas dinner & get rid of any that aren't actively enjoyed by at least half the attendees
Yes! If you are trying to cook stuff for individuals, the amount of cooking that needs to be done gets out of control. Too stressful. Too expensive. Too complicated.
"Traditions" are another one you can reduce in the same way. You can create your own family traditions that are based around ways to get everyone else to muck in (and save money at the same time)
Absolutely! Work smarter, not harder, I say!
Ali1cedowntherabbithole · 09/10/2018 11:20
I'm giving a few people days out this year; theatre trip for Mil, crafty activity for SILs. A lot less to wrap.
Hadn't heard about the David Attenborough Crackers thing - but makes perfect sense and I'm sure DD can hide a few jokes in a kitchen roll tube.
I'm also joining SerenDippyEggs stand against Brussel Sprouts.
Snitzelvoncrumb · 09/10/2018 11:23
My first Christmas as a mum I couldn't believe how exhausting it was. I have cut back to only buying gifts for my kids and niece. Oh and husband. I just do a few plates of cold food and nibbles, it's too hot in Australia for a roast. I don't drive allover the place to see both sides of the family either.
CuppaSarah · 09/10/2018 11:24
Secret Santa for adults to avoid excess spending. Secondhand things where possible, saves money and the environment. For the kids I'm setting a strict budget and not buying any plastic tat. Nice, little useful bits in stockings.
The Christmas Eve box this year is £5 max. Biscuit dough, new cutters and hot chocolate.
We're going to the in-laws for Christmas this year, so they're limited by car space for the journey back so can't go mad with the kids this year.
TomHardysNextWife · 09/10/2018 11:28
We really cut back last year. No cards to relatives we haven't seen in 20 years; no gifts apart from the under 18s in the family and our DC. We put money in our grandchildrens accounts as they get ridiculously spoiled by their Dads family and just did a small stocking for them. And we cut the food shop back to having nice food in for the 24th/25th/26th and just a regular shop.
It was actually really liberating!
Nofilter · 09/10/2018 11:30
I'm in please!
I'm simplifying EVERYTHING!
My DB is cooking, I want to spend more of my day playing with DD and having memories than trying to stick to a schedule and be this perfect Mama.
I've also decided to just get DD a few token gifts as it's ridiculous the amount she will have being the first and only grandchild...
She's horse obsessed and I can't imagine us squeezing in another toy horse into this house when she has around 70 already I kid you not!
My Xmas gift will be toy storage!!
abacucat · 09/10/2018 11:31
We do things that are fun, but I always remind myself it is supposed to be fun, including for me.
So we buy a tree and decorate it. Have an enhanced sunday lunch with xmas pudding, and buy a few extra nibbles, treats and chocolates.
I do send cards to some elderly relatives for whom I know it is important.
consuelapipkin · 09/10/2018 11:37
In my family we don't do Christmas presents for the adults anymore, only for the children of which there will be two this year. Nothing over the top and no plastic toys, either
That's the way!
We celebrate on Christmas Eve and will have Raclette for dinner, everyone will bring something, so it's not too much work for one person
Clever thinking. It shouldn't all fall to one person.
As I live in a different country than the rest of my family, I just appreciate spending time with them and seeing friends
Yes, it's the simple things that you remember and appreciate in the long-run, I reckon.
Snowymountainsalways · 09/10/2018 11:37
After twenty of years of driving up and down motorways for all of December. I have decided we aren't travelling at all this year. People know where we are, and now the onus is on them. If they decide to grace us with a visit there will be mulled wine and mince pies and not the huge spread I bust my arse providing. All of these things will be purchased from a supermarket and NOT handmade unless the children wish to bake and then they can do it instead.
Parcels are being sent on the 1st of Dec so no obligation or ear bending.
Cards only to close friends and family. Lots of friends have given up altogether.
Decorating to be done by children, I am really past having magazine style house. This year we are doing the theme of birds nest, which is what our tree will look like.
I have booked a spa day in the middle of December and have only accepted three invites for drinks. I have declined the ones I can't face and won't drag myself a long.
This thread is a good idea. I am picking up lots more tips thanks everyone.
consuelapipkin · 09/10/2018 11:42
My first Christmas as a mum I couldn't believe how exhausting it was. I just do a few plates of cold food and nibbles, it's too hot in Australia for a roast. I don't drive allover the place to see both sides of the family either
Quite right - start as you mean to go on and no-one will question it.
I have noticed over the years that my family enjoy things more the less I try. I think it's because if I martyr myself to the point of exhausted and frayed temper, it undermines all my efforts to "do it all perfectly". Just a waste of time.
I was brought up to be a people-pleaser unfortunately and I now have to ask myself (not just at Christmas) Just who is asking me to do all this? Most of the time, I've created the situation myself. In the cases of difficult relatives, well I've learned that sometimes you need to stand up for yourself a bit in this life.
Dontsweatthelittlestuff · 09/10/2018 11:45
I ditched wrapping paper several years ago and bought gift bags in The card factory (4 or 6 for a pound depending on size)
After present opening I gather up the gift bags and put away for the following year. So far my bags have done at least 3 years and still going strong. I only buy for family so don’t lose bags to gifts given away from home.
consuelapipkin · 09/10/2018 11:46
Secret Santa for adults to avoid excess spending. Secondhand things where possible, saves money and the environment
One Christmas as kids we were stony-broke. My mother warned us Christmas would be extra-tight that year. We were never well-off anyhow. I got second-hand books. I was a real little bookworm and I enjoyed that Christmas so much that I still remember it and one book in particular. It's amazing what kids remember/don't remember and it's not always the lavish stuff either.
Eliza9917 · 09/10/2018 11:50
I don't do Christmas cards, except one to a friend of the family.
I don't think I'm even going to decorate this year (no kids). There was a bereavement in DP's family over the Christmas period last year so I'm not going to make a fuss of it all this year. I might do the advent calendars again though - I've got wooden reusable ones but you can't really fit anything other than a sweet in the boxes so that's nice and simple, I'll just get some 'different' sweets from the old fashioned sweet shop.
I'll buy one each of the quality street/celebrations/roses/heroes tins. Extra cheeses & crackers & chutneys etc. I won't go overboard because I want to go away for 1-2 weeks on boxing day. I don't need to buy anything for Christmas day as we go to our mums and give them money towards it all.
My family are doing a secret Santa and it works out that each household has to buy 2 presents. We set a price limit. We then all buy for the kids and my mum. This is the 3rd year of doing this and its much much better. I tried to start this in DP's family but they don't want to do it.
I will speak to DP about token presents only or a price limit as we are saving for our wedding and to move early next year. The dog will still get a few presents though probably
consuelapipkin · 09/10/2018 11:51
We really cut back last year. And we cut the food shop back to having nice food in for the 24th/25th/26th and just a regular shop
Great ideas, all.
I am a BIG fan now of the 24th/25th/26th nice food, then a regular shop. That way, I can still look at a mince pie the following year as I haven't sickened myself
It was actually really liberating!
It's a terrific feeling. I'm afraid I once fell into the trap of thinking the more I spend, the more fun I'll have. Not so! As we didn't have much as kids, I assumed having more to spend would be great. Then, I wondered why I didn't enjoy Christmas very much any more.
It's only since I cut way back that I have rekindled my love of the season. I remembered that even as kids, it wasn't about the money spent at all.
consuelapipkin · 09/10/2018 11:58
I'm simplifying EVERYTHING!
My DB is cooking, I want to spend more of my day playing with DD and having memories than trying to stick to a schedule and be this perfect Mama
Love it! Perfectionism makes no-one happy.
I've also decided to just get DD a few token gifts as it's ridiculous the amount she will have being the first and only grandchild...my Xmas gift will be toy storage!!
Toy storage - great idea. Can't have toys without the storage
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