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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.

LookItsMeAgain · 21/11/2022 10:20

Just to show you that there was no Zombie warning on this thread -

To think I do not need to make an effort with Christmas anymore
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LookItsMeAgain · 21/11/2022 10:19

This thread was last posted on 23/11/2021 and no where in the "Add your message here" box is it being indicated as a ZOMBIE thread. Nowhere. I've taken a photograph of it so that if MN Admins ask I can provide it to them. It's also not locked so that I can't add a post to it either.

It's also bang on topic for this time of the year and would be so easy to get included in the "Similar Threads" box.

THIS is what MN is doing to it's own chat boards.

It's self sabotage from what I can see.

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lazylinguist · 23/11/2021 18:18

It was the presents getting me into debt, not the decorations.

Yep, so cutting back on presents and resisting the impulse to 'panic buy' is the most important thing then. Decorations aren't the problem, but if none of you are fussed about them then you're right not to bother.

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TheChip · 23/11/2021 17:57

We did a lot of that stuff. As they got older, they lost interest and grew bored of it. So it was no longer a family activity we did together, and just me by myself.
We still do some stuff, but it doesn't involve decorations

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speakout · 23/11/2021 17:55

I think decorations takes the financial stress ut of christmas.

If gifts is the only focus then children learn that presents and "stuff" is the most important thing.
By spreading the fun over activities, crafts decorations etc children learn that christmad is not just an event for buying and giving stuff.
When my kids were younger decorations were made and put up for weeks before christmas.
Making salt dough decorations, paper snowflakes for the window, paper chains. Collecting wintry things from the woods to make collages, decorations for the table. Hot chocolate with edible glitter and marshmallow after a cold walk.
Decorating stockings, baking christmas cookies, bringing in holly and evergreens to decorate the house, drawing christmas scenes, making christmas cards with card and potato prints.
We were a very skint family when the kids were young- the presents were only a part of weeks of fun, so all done on a very tight budget.
Didn't stop my children loving christmas time- all of it, not just christmas day.

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TheChip · 23/11/2021 17:47

It was the presents getting me into debt, not the decorations.

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lazylinguist · 23/11/2021 17:38

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.

Well obviously it's up to you. I'd have thought it was presents that got people into debt though, not decorations. I mean... it's not like you need to buy new decorations every year, you can just keep using the ones you already have!

I'd hate not to have decorations at Christmas, as would my teen dc. But if your dc don't care, fair enough - don't bother!

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SilverBelle · 23/11/2021 17:20

If you had asked me, as a child, if I was fussed about Christmas decorations, I would have said "No" without hesitation.

Now I am old and my heart swells when I remember my parents' treasured Christmas tree ornaments, each one carefully taken out of the box and unwrapped by Mum and passed to Dad to hang up while they reminised about the people and places each ornament was associated with.

I can still smell the freshly-cut pine that filled the house with its glorious scent. And what I wouldn't give today to see the kitsch styrofoam Father Christmas wall plaque, complete with his bitten-off nose (we had many cats) that Mum tried to disguise with red red nail varnish. It was even older than me!

I think it's worth making the effort even if your children don't appreciate it until many years have passed. Star

To think I do not need to make an effort with Christmas anymore
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EnigmaCat · 23/11/2021 16:42

Since all of the traditions are -made up- established at some point, have the spouse and kids do it all instead, for a change.
See how committed they are then.

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Mayhemmumma · 23/11/2021 12:57

I feel quite similar but do love a tree - no other decorations needed but putting the tree up with the kids is lovely.
I am trying to be more careful with what I buy (albeit my two do very well) I choose more sensibly about things they really want and will actually use, not too much filler tat or jokey things I end up putting in bin.

Also with presents for others - good present they will like but with no extra presents to make it bigger or more interesting. I'm getting vouchers for a treatment I know some of my family will love but not putting chocolates or anything extra to make it bigger.

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peaceanddove · 23/11/2021 12:50

I don't find Christmas stressful at all because I love it. But thinking back, once we had left homr my Mum stopped decorating for Xmas, just one very small tree and a few family Christmas cards. She still enjoyed seeing all the decorations, out and about, though - but just didn't feel the need to disrupt her home with them. But she always served coffee with a splash of Baileys in the run up to Christmas and introduced me to eating a mince pie with a slice of cheese (damn her).

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BringMeTea · 23/11/2021 12:36

Stand firm OP. You do you as some people say until they decide they disagree with you... Grin

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phoenixrosehere · 23/11/2021 12:18

These will be the kids that in adulthood will go all put to make sure their own children have a 'proper christmas'

And why is it a “proper Christmas “ to do all this extraness that usually ends up with massive drama and stress for mainly mums (because let’s face it, they’re the ones sorting most if not all of it) all for one day? We’ve been seeing drama about Christmas since October which IMO is insane for one-two days that should be something that everyone should be able to enjoy, not just the kids. If the kids choose to add on when they have children, that’s fine and if they choose to keep with what their mum is doing, that is fine too. Christmas is dependent on the families that celebrate it and how they want to celebrate it, there is no right or wrong and I wish people who say they “love” Christmas would take that in consideration instead of bashing anyone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas to their standards.

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Floralnomad · 23/11/2021 12:00

@Grapewrath

I feel the same tbh I always get called miserable as I don’t want loads of sweets, chocolate and alcohol in my house over Xmas. I don’t care tbh I know my kids enjoy it, we have a lovely time.
I understand that people enjoy it that way and the days of indulgence but I find the sitting around eating is bad for my mh and my kids’ mood. Each to their own. Do what works for you

Most of us on the thread aren’t talking about the plastic tat , sweets and alcohol we are talking about not bothering to put up a Christmas tree or any decorations. We don’t have extraneous presents , chocolate and are T total - that has nothing to do with ‘festering’ .
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worriedandannoyed · 23/11/2021 10:25

@peaceanddove

It sounds rather bah humbug, to be honest. Then again, I've always loved Christmas and go completely over the top. Last year you had to fight your way through the paper chains in the kitchen to get to the kettle - and we had 3 Christmas trees!

Every year DD1 and I have a tradition of wearing sparkly Christmas jumpers, going shopping for more decorations whilst drinking a bonkers Starbucks hot chocolate with all the trimmings. We love it. DD2 and DH couldn't be less interested Grin

One of the worst comments I've EVER read on here.

Just because you love Christmas doesn't mean everyone does. Calling them a humbug for having a more relaxed Christmas than you is pretty awful!!
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peaceanddove · 23/11/2021 10:14

It sounds rather bah humbug, to be honest. Then again, I've always loved Christmas and go completely over the top. Last year you had to fight your way through the paper chains in the kitchen to get to the kettle - and we had 3 Christmas trees!

Every year DD1 and I have a tradition of wearing sparkly Christmas jumpers, going shopping for more decorations whilst drinking a bonkers Starbucks hot chocolate with all the trimmings. We love it. DD2 and DH couldn't be less interested Grin

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Grapewrath · 23/11/2021 10:05

I feel the same tbh I always get called miserable as I don’t want loads of sweets, chocolate and alcohol in my house over Xmas. I don’t care tbh I know my kids enjoy it, we have a lovely time.
I understand that people enjoy it that way and the days of indulgence but I find the sitting around eating is bad for my mh and my kids’ mood. Each to their own. Do what works for you

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TheChip · 23/11/2021 09:58

[quote Snowisfallinghere]Congratulations OP, your scrooging has made it to the Mirror Xmas Grin

www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/ive-stopped-decorating-christmas-its-25518841.amp[/quote]
😂😂 Well that was unexpected

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Snowisfallinghere · 23/11/2021 09:54

Congratulations OP, your scrooging has made it to the Mirror Xmas Grin

www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/ive-stopped-decorating-christmas-its-25518841.amp

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TheChip · 22/11/2021 07:58

Or they'll be the ones who don't fall for peer pressure around Christmas, and realise they don't need to go all out to have a good time.

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kitcat15 · 22/11/2021 07:52

@TheChip

We aren't miserable though. That's the main point in all of this that does my head in about my family. Since I have changed how we celebrate Christmas, everything is happier. Yet because we don't decorate, or buy loads of chocolate crap anymore that must mean we have a miserable and joyless Christmas. I really don't understand that.

The kids get exactly what they want, I just no longer buy extra crap on top of that to make it look like they have loads of presents.
They really truly are not fussed on decorations. I havent conditioned them into not wanting decorations because they didn't even know I didn't want them until I said. I thoroughly enjoyed decorating with them when they were little, but as they lost interest so did I.
We watch movies, bake cakes and cookies, play the odd game.
The only thing lacking is the decorations and the stress.

These will be the kids that in adulthood will go all put to make sure their own children have a 'proper christmas'
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Gladioli23 · 20/11/2021 06:46

I think there are two different issues here:

  1. Christmas being viewed as a time of excess and that the OP should get herself into debt for that.


Very few people think this is right, I don't think most people think your stance on presents and filling the freezer etc is wrong. I think people thought it was a bit mad not to have chocolate for Christmas but if there are cakes and biscuits then that sounds lovely!

2. Not joining in with Christmas traditions that aren't really materialistic and differentiate Christmas from other times of year. I.E decorations

I don't think anyone is suggesting you should have your house like a Christmas grotto, with multiple trees and a light show outside. But rather they're (and I am) confused as to why decorating would make Christmas miserable. For me, it's a creative process: making decorations out of felt or paper, and decorating the house. Mum hated it when I was little and went along with it begrudgingly - decorating as late as possible with decorations coming down the day after boxing Day. She would probably tell you I didn't mind because I was old enough not to make a fuss or have a tantrum but it was a shame and I always do loads of decorations now. I also think that decorating is often a really nice way of spending time with family - like you say you want to - it's a creative activity that doesn't involve screens and does involve collaboration. Which to me is part of what Christmas is about.

Obviously it's absolutely up to you OP in terms of how you spend your Christmas but I think it's important to differentiate between the points people are making.
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millenialblush · 20/11/2021 06:44

The PPs all saying OP sounds 'joyless' - do you only find joy at Xmas? Maybe OPs house is full of joy all yhe time and she doesn't need plastic tut and unhealthy food to confirm it?

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beentoldcomputersaysno · 20/11/2021 06:39

So you're doing something that works for your household, that you're all happy with, removes the stress and makes it a more enjoyable time than it would be with all the trimmings .... great!! Why would you add all the trimmings back in if people are enjoying it more without?!

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Justilou1 · 20/11/2021 06:11

I used to go all out, and was made to feel ridiculous for it. I used to get excited about it and make a massive effort. I put up with the cobbled together 3/4 of a Christmas tree that DH had since his previous ex, and finally bought a prelit one and decorated it, made it glam, etc… I was out buying presents and ran over the cord with the vacuum less than a week later and shredded it. I could have had it fixed by an electrician, but I received a warning phone call to tel me what he’d done AND to try and make me feel better, he told me what a fabulous job I’d done putting the lights on, as it had taken him and DS ages to get them off the tree. Dickhead. He promised to replace it, but they were sold out by then. Next year I said nothing and of course was nagged about the tree that everyone teased me about. I pointed out that we didn’t have a fucking tree, because Dad hadn’t replaced the one he shredded with the vacuum and then pulled the lights off. He attempted to deny his promise to replace it, but there were too many witnesses to that one. Again too late. Same this year. No tree again.

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