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To think I do not need to make an effort with Christmas anymore

218 replies

TheChip · 17/11/2021 17:38

I've always said if it was up to me I wouldn't celebrate it.
The past few years I've realised that it is up to me and so I slowly started slipping away from it all.

No more decorations, no more panic buying and getting myself into debt for the kids. It has been so much easier and to be honest, much much more enjoyable.

But I am sick of people telling me that I need to make an effort for the kids. The kids are happy with no decorations etc. They still get presents and they're happy with what they get, I just dont get myself into debt and stress anymore.

Not only do these people expect me to decorate my home for my children (who are not bothered), they also think I should buy a ridiculous amount of chocolate and sweets for Christmas. Along with filling my freezer. Why? When I say no, I'm not buying the kids loads of chocolate and shit for Christmas, I am given the sad voice as if I'm really cruel and told that I should make more of an effort for the kids. I'm constantly pestered about what I am getting them and what I should be getting them. Its almost as if they(family members) can not cope with the fact that I am not worried or stressed about Christmas so that is the mission, to make me stress out and be worried.

Since I have stopped decorating and wasting money on absolute shit through panic buying through the Christmas expectations, we have all enjoyed our Christmas days much much more.

The only thing we do for Christmas in my house is open presents and have a big dinner. My youngest is 11. I asked the kids a couple of years ago if they'd rather I did put decorations up, but they said no they're not bothered.

So,
AIBU - i should make more of an effort and celebrate Christmas the way people are expected to for the sake of the kids

YANBU - I should do what I want

I needed a vent more than anything, I think. I feel better after I've typed that ha.
I'm posting now out of curiosity to see if people think I am as cold as my family think I am

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

fixlet · 17/11/2021 17:44

Celebrate it the way you want and just smile and say how relaxed you feel and how much better it is to not worry about debt or stress.

Personally, I like having a Christmas tree up, and some fairy lights twinkling. It takes an hour or so and I stick a Christmas film in the background. I've used the same tree and decorations for the last ten years, so costs me nothing.

But however you and your kids want to spend Christmas is no business of anyone else.

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ISpyCobraKai · 17/11/2021 17:47

I don't bother.
I live alone, my Dd is grown up so what's the point in decorating when I don't even want to.
I prefer to spend money on Dd as and when, like taking her out for dinner, or gig tickets, or a day out somewhere, even taking treats when I visit.
She's not fussed either.

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Ponoka7 · 17/11/2021 17:48

My youngest DD wasn't bothered about decorations during her early teens. I like decorations, so I still did it. She then came around to the idea and joined in. Personally I won't sit in s house without decorations over Christmas. So it might be something that you have to revisit in the future. We don't do adult presents, or over indulge too much, so I'm with you on that, if that's what they do definitely want.

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nokidshere · 17/11/2021 17:48

We e never had a traditional Christmas. When the boys were young we had lots of decorations and presents but they used to choose food, eat during the day, collapse into bed early as they were knackered and then we used to just have a nice dinner when they were in bed.

As they got older we have just a few decorations, a table full of whatever food they liked and just snack through they day. They get up late, open presents then eat/drink whenever from a buffet.

It's always just the 4 of us, it's calm and relaxed with no massive spend or rushing around.

Do Christmas however you like because it's supposed to be calm and chilled.

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Sirzy · 17/11/2021 17:49

Are you sure children are happy with it that way? When they are young I do think to a point it should be about them - not in an OTT way but also not doing nothing at all

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Autumnscene · 17/11/2021 17:50

anyone who tells you to make more effort giving sweets or putting up xmas decs, tell them it’s actually about Jesus’s birthday, not about panic buying a load of crap. you celebrate it with a meal and presents.. that tells you are celebrating.

i’d tell your family you go to mid night mass, why don’t they come with you and do the right thing 😇😇😇😇😁

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hangrylady · 17/11/2021 17:53

I bet your children would love decorations, they've probably just been conditioned into not being bothered because you're not. There's nothing wrong with it if everyone is happy but it sounds a bit joyless to me. Each to their own though.

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Styletryle · 17/11/2021 17:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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MeetMeAtOurSpot · 17/11/2021 17:55

I have a SIL who constantly tells us ‘the kids aren’t bothered’.

They are, they’ve just been trained by their mum to agree with whatever she says or she makes their lives miserable.

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Didiusfalco · 17/11/2021 17:57

I mean, sure, you do what you want. Your whole tone does sound pretty miserable though, so if you put up decorations whilst whinging the whole time your kids might say ‘don’t bother’. It’s not about what you have or how you do it, but whether you suck the joy out of things. Appreciate you might just be venting here.

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littlebigtiger · 17/11/2021 18:03

When I was younger I always wondered why my mum made such a fuss with decorations, I wasn't bothered.

She was happy to stop putting decorations up once she realised I wasn't fussed! Some kids aren't!

I always found Christmas stressful as a child. Too many people crammed into each other's houses, too much noise.

I'm happy to be an adult and make my own choices. We don't put decorations up. We watch films all day, relax, have a nice lunch, and that's it. No travelling about or decorating.

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Robloxdiamonds · 17/11/2021 18:05

It's clearly the norm in your family to over spend and over indulge if you used to do that too and family members are now badgering you about not doing it anymore.

But every family is different. I'm guessing the kids are teens? I can appreciate they're not bothered if they're teens. I remember not really enjoying Christmas so much as a teen. It was only really as an adult, who didn't spend as much time with my family anymore, that I enjoyed the family getting together aspect of Christmas.

You can still enjoy Christmas without getting into debt and buying mountains of tat. The one part of Christmas I absolutely hate is the martyrdom and increased load foisted onto women. I think some people have an existential crisis when they realise that they don't actually have to do all of this pointless crap and have wasted years of their life buying into it all.

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Cyw2018 · 17/11/2021 18:05

My friend really struggles with Christmas and the expectations that come with it, she comes from a wealthy family that uses to go to the Bahamas for Christmas every year throughout her childhood and early adulthood, she finds the British Christmas obsession a bit alien. I often work Christmas (paramedic) and one year she actually said to me "so, you leave the house at 630 am work all day get home at 8ish and Christmas is all over, sounds perfect to me". It's certainly a different perspective on a day which ends up with all sorts of back stabbing and bitching at work as to who is off each year.

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furbabymama87 · 17/11/2021 18:07

Sounds like a miserable joyless way to live. Don't do that to your kids. They will care and will know they're different.

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HollyandIvyandAllThingsYule · 17/11/2021 18:10

Maybe this year you could ask if they would like to decorate - just a little tree, maybe some homemade decorations, a few baubles and a string of lights. There is the possibility that your children are telling you what they know you want to hear. That way they could do it if they want to, but you don’t have to be responsible for it.

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WTF475878237NC · 17/11/2021 18:11

It does sound quite sad and I don't really see how your kids wouldn't see other friends having some fun and think mum is quite miserable. I'm not sure why decorations have to cost much at all. Once you have one set of decorations you can keep it all for a decade or more and put them up every year for a week and a 4ft real tree isn't expensive. I'd rather spend the money on that and give/receive fewer presents as to me it isn't about the presents it's about coming together in the spirit of family and friendship.

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TheChip · 17/11/2021 18:20

Yes, they are teens. I used to make a huge effort when they were younger. Trees, lights, decorations, reindeer dust etc. Etc.
Because I agree, when they are young it is about them. But again, that is the expectation. Now they know santa isn't real, I dont need to make that effort anymore and I love it.

They were never fussed on the decorations and only interested in the presents. They weren't even big on Christmas Dinner. So I'd spend hours in the kitchen for it to only be really me who ate it. So now I give a choice of meals we could have and they choose.

I found a lot of the presents also went to waste as after I'd bought what they wanted, I'd buy loads of other shit because of pressure.

Now they get exactly what they want with a surprise or two, with a Christmas meal they actually eat. The only thing lacking is the decorations and the mass of sweets and chocolate, and a freshly filled freezer.

Yes, I come from a family that really splurges on Christmas and I dont want to be in that trap anymore. Not when I've dipped my toes in a stress free Christmas.

But I don't understand how by not having decorations and buying loads of chocolate and sweets means that the kids will be miserable and have a joyless Christmas. Not putting decorations up does not make someone miserable.

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BrilliantBetty · 17/11/2021 18:20

Whatever works for your household.

It's odd that your relatives are so het up by your choices. But not going all out for xmas is hardly unusual. Lots of people don't celebrate It at all. And lots only celebrate low-key. Whatever Smile

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XelaM · 17/11/2021 18:20

This sounds horrible and joyless for the kids. Why is it such a chore to out up a few Christmas decorations? Confused I have a daughter the same age as your youngest and it would be such a sad Christmas if we didn't have a tree and our house didn't feel "Christmassy". You sound miserable

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IvorAlotOfHeadaches · 17/11/2021 18:23

My BF did similar with her DC/family. They seemed happy with it and all enjoyed their Christmas times.
But …. Now DC are adults (25+) and they (2DD) spend their Xmas with their DPs’ families because they like the whole ‘fuss/specialness’ of Christmas as celebrated by their DP families. The novelty may wear off in time of course.
I think it’s best to do whatever you and your DC prefer.
The smell of burning martyr is stronger than the smell of a nice Christmas dinner!

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the80sweregreat · 17/11/2021 18:25

My Christmas with my parents was very low key and it didn't do me any harm at all !
Do what you want to do and ignore the haters !!
Christmas is very overrated

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Spunout · 17/11/2021 18:27

You do christmas whichever way suits your family and sod everyone else,I'd be doing the same but unfortunately my almost 16 year old and 9 year old are already nagging for the decorations up,so I have at least another 9 years of that!!! And I used to spoil dd1 at Christmas cos the plan was for her to be an only,so after her younger sister came along I felt like I had to keep to the same amounts but obviously now doubled and been in debt for years,I know who's Christmas I'd prefer.

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HollyandIvyandAllThingsYule · 17/11/2021 18:28

I totally agree that there’s no need to go OTT about it, and since they are teens I would take them at they’re word when they say they don’t mind. However do let them know that if they would like to decorate that would be okay with you (if indeed it would be).

All the rest of it - the pressure to spend, spend, spend or to make it all about materialistic consumption and so on - there’s absolutely no need to buy into it.

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Tumbleweed101 · 17/11/2021 18:29

My youngest is 12 and they are all growing out of it now. I'm probably going to get a small Xmas tree I can put on a table rather than rearranging the whole room this year. I will put decorations up but agree that it can be downsized now. I will make an effort again when grandchildren come along one day.

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HollyandIvyandAllThingsYule · 17/11/2021 18:32

Ugh *their!! Why does the autocorrect think it knows better than me? It never ever does! Xmas Angry

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