To think I do not need to make an effort with Christmas anymore
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.
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
Am I being unreasonable?AIBU
You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.
Gliderx · 17/11/2021 19:16
As a small child, I remember sitting in front of the Christmas tree for ages looking at all the decorations and presents. And my siblings and I would sneakily eat the chocolate baubles and then rearrange the packaging to make it look as if there was still a bauble in there . Those memories are still magical for me.
As an older child, I loved the rituals of Christmas... baking with my mother, having the neighbours round for mince pies and mulled wine, making paper chains, decorating the hallway and helping to decorate the tree. Again, I used to sit for ages in front of the tree rearranging the ornaments to my satisfaction and organising the presents in the way I thought best.
Each to their own and every family has their own rituals and celebrations. But I'd find it a bit sad to have no family rituals. We live in a very multicultural area and even a lot of the non-Christian families celebrate the non-religious aspects of Christmas in a low key way for their children, despite it not being one of their religious festivals. Some people like a celebration, I guess, and some don't.
Bluntness100 · 17/11/2021 19:19
I’m not with the majority of these views, I can’t imagine having children in the house and one as young as eleven and having no Xmas decorations or Xmas treats up and do think it’s a rather miserable way to do the once a year holiday,
charabanctrip · 17/11/2021 19:20
Our house is too small for a Xmas tree and dh used to insist on putting it up and decorating it and now he can't be bothered as he's getting on.
We just have a roast chicken and some nice treats and that's it. We do a stocking for the young adult dcs, but don't bother with gifts for each other as we don't need anything. No extended family to keep happy. It suits us.
TheChip · 17/11/2021 19:22
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.
User4272946730203 · 17/11/2021 19:22
I think you're very sensible not to get into debt for it, and I agree it really shouldn't be a terrible consumer fest.
The thought of not decorating makes me personally sad because it's one of my favourite parts, but it it works for your family it really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks!
Thatsthewaytis · 17/11/2021 19:24
I don’t get decorations costing money? I’ve had the same decorations for years. I do think it’s not a massive hardship to put up a Christmas tree and decorate it. Did you throw all your decorations out or?
OhGiveUp · 17/11/2021 19:26
I just used to put a tree up and that was it as far as decoration went.
Then when the last of the kids left home, I stopped bothering with that.
I couldn't put it up ( a six ft fake one ) even if I wanted to because my D.I.L has it in her house now.
Then my eldest grandchild asked me why I didn't have a tree up, so I bought a 3ft pre lit one and stuck that up to keep him happy.
I treat myself to a box of mince tarts and that's about it for treats.
Do what works for you OP, not what everyone else thinks you should do.
You know your own kids better than anyone, if they're happy then that's all that matters.
godmum56 · 17/11/2021 19:32
If you and your kids are happy that is all that matters. Eff what other people think
TheChip · 17/11/2021 19:32
The decorations don't cost money. I still have them all. It's not the cost of them that is the issue, its that nobody in my household is interested in them anymore. But because I don't bother with them, people assume that I am miserable and the kids will have a miserable Christmas. When that isn't the case at all, but it doesn't stop people making comments (not on here, but in real life).
speakout · 17/11/2021 19:33
I agree- my local charity shops are awash with christmas decorations right now, all very inexpensive.
Also some really interesting quirky stuff - so much more interesting than the bland clorour themed stuff from supermarkets.
Christmas cheer need not be expensive.
speakout · 17/11/2021 19:34
I suspect your lack of enthusiasm is very uninspiring.
Bluntness100 · 17/11/2021 19:36
You have an eleven year old and teens who don’t care if you put decorations up or not?
Is there a back story here in terms of your happiness as a family.?
Bluntness100 · 17/11/2021 19:38
The only thing lacking is the decorations and the stress
Why would decorations and chocolates be a stress to an eleven year old?
katseyes7 · 17/11/2021 19:38
I'm with ISpyCobraKai on this.
I haven't 'done' Christmas much for the past 20 years, and virtually none at all for the past few. Partly financial, partly because l'm in my 60s now and l don't like people spending money on 'stuff' which l don't need. l've got way too much to start with.
I don't have much in the way of family (only one cousin) and l lost both my parents very close to Christmas, so it's not my favourite time of year to be honest. I've been invited to spend it with friends and/or their families, but l prefer being on my own. Any other day of the year, fine, l'm happy to join in. Just not Christmas Day.
About four years ago my friends and l agreed to do cards only, and to donate a small amount to a local charity chosen by the donor. That works for us, but l appreciate it doesn't if you have family.
Do whatever makes you happy, so far as you can, depending on your circumstances.
UniBallEye · 17/11/2021 19:40
I guess I don't understand all this stress you're talking about since on further explanation it seems to boil down to not putting up decorations, not buying chocolate and not cooking Christmas dinner?
We have decorations we've collected since we first moved in together and we have a ritual of putting them up with bailey's and ice and Christmas music playing. I like it when they're up! We already have them and only add a bauble each year and I LOVE buying that and I love taking them all out and all the memories they bring back.
Our dc is a teen now too and I think, despite the outward waning interest, keeping rituals going is important and gives security and stability. I suggested to our teen that we might consider going away for Christmas, thought she'd be delighted but - horror! No way...!
No-one else knows what we buy or have in our freezer so I get no comments on that front.
I find teens tend to know what they want and it's usually quite specific so we get whatever that is and some surprises and I shop online a lot for this so no traipsing around shops etc
I have to be honest and say you do sound a little joyless....
Bluntness100 · 17/11/2021 19:41
Why don't people believe that the OPs DC aren't bothered bydecorations
Is this a serious question? Becayse generally happy 11 year olds loved twinkly lights, chocolates and treats and all the Xmas fun. That’s why.
Howshouldibehave · 17/11/2021 19:42
Why would decorations and chocolates be a stress to an eleven year old?
OnwardsAndSideways1 · 17/11/2021 19:44
I'm with you Op, but then I literally don't get Christmas, I can't get excited over tinsel or fairy lights (I have fairy lights up in the garden all year round), and I don't find one day more exciting than any other day of the year. I don't know why, I wish I did. The 'magic' of Christmas is just lost on me, it's about buying crap, putting up crap, clearing it away again, I really would love to find it magical but I don't!
In our house I do decorations as one of mine loves them, but I'm always relieved when they go back into the loft. We pretty much buy what we want all year round, I never wait, just get stuff, so presents are fine but not unusual these days.
I feel like Christmas is about pretending things are exciting like visiting family, perhaps as I do it pretty regularly it's quite normal and not that different. Ditto food. I don't even go crazy for Christmas dinner, it's nice but not that nice and I don't eat tonnes of stuff as I don't want to be dieting all Jan.
I am a Grinch at Christmas. Perhaps I will go the spiritual route this year and see if I can get the point of it that way, as sitting around eating normal food, having reasonable consumer products which we already have lots of and looking at a tree just doesn't work for me, I don't know why!
ISpyCobraKai · 17/11/2021 19:44
Oh my DD puts up decorations in her home now, however when she was at home she'd snarl at me for even suggesting it, I'd sneak a few up.
She has ASD/PDA and hates occasions, its only in the last couple of years she manages better.
I went all out for Christmas for her until I realised I was actually making her really uncomfortable
This year I'll pop over to see them on the day with a wee minding, but that's it, I'd still rather spend my money throughout the year on things that come up rather than on a prescribed day.
Bluntness100 · 17/11/2021 19:45
I think op one thing you need to accept as when your kids leave home it’s unlikely they will rush to come home for Xmas for anything other than duty.
I’ve never met a child who doesn’t love twinkly lights, presents under the tree, chocolates and treats and family fun at Xmas. You say yours don’t. Yes it sounds miserable, here’s a gift eat what you want.
I can almost guarantee your kids will have the whole shebang with their families because of what they missed out on.
Bluntness100 · 17/11/2021 19:49
Since I have changed how we celebrate Christmas, everything is happier
So basically you’re saying your kids are happier as they have no tree and no treats or chocolates?
Do you really mean you’re happier?
PomegranateQueen · 17/11/2021 19:50
Sorry OP, but not even putting a tree up when you have an 11 year old DC is lazy.
How confusing for them to go from the full works at Christmas to barely anything, they might say they are OK with it but how they really feel is a different matter.
FangsForTheMemory · 17/11/2021 19:53
I live on my own and celebrate Christmas in a very small way: nice dinner Christmas Eve, new book to read, trash telly, nice lunch on Christmas day, couple of presents to open, bottle of expensive wine. Text a few friends, get a few texts back. Feet up. Peace.
Compared with the highly (dis)organised and stressful Christmases of my childhood, it's utter bliss.
TheYearOfSmallThings · 17/11/2021 19:54
In fairness to the OP, it sounds as if they do have family customs and things they do together (baking cakes and cookies, playing board games). It doesn't sound joyless in that sense.
She just seems to have an aversion to excess, and perceives anything twinkly and sparkly as part of that.
I have a friend who is slightly similar. She does buy a Christmas tree since having children, but shuddered when I suggested putting fairy lights and baubles on it.
TheChip · 17/11/2021 19:56
Why is it odd that some children aren't bothered about Christmas decorations? My 17yo could take it or leave it, my 13yo the same and my 11yo doesn't like them at all. It's the presents they're interested in.
If my 17 and 13yo wanted them up, then I'd still do it but they say they aren't bothered.
I really don't understand how happiness levels depend on decorations.
Basically, after this whole post it seems that its my family with expectations of me to continue their traditions and how they celebrate it, and for years I've gone with it, despite the amount of stress and debt it has caused me. The debt being pressure from my family pushing me to spend and spend and spend on Christmas, because if the kids don't have a mountain of presents and chocolate then they will be miserable. Which is also where the freezer comment comes in. Because they fill their freezers at Christmas time, they expect me to, too.
Now I'm finally breaking away to do what my household is happy with, and it's apparently wrong. Even though it's only those on the outside who think that.
We can still do christmassy stuff without the deocrations, and we do.
But I'm being told I need to make more effort, when I don't think I do.
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