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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.

Coronawireless · 17/11/2021 19:56

But just put some holly and a candle on your windowsill maybe?? Would it kill you?

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Thatsthewaytis · 17/11/2021 20:00

@TheChip but you said you have all the decorations so there is no extra expense or debt there? Just an hour or two to decorate.

I know you say your children don’t care but I wonder when they’re older if they’ll look back at their christmases sitting in the living room same as always just with a new x box game if it’ll be magical memories for them or just meh.

Even more so when they meet their other halves and have to explain their Christmas was getting one gift they wanted and nothing else just normal day.

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Holothane · 17/11/2021 20:00

My advent calendar is going up first of December (I can reuse every year) then I’ve decided the trees going Christmas Eve this year.

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TheYearOfSmallThings · 17/11/2021 20:02

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.

It's just that you didn't really elaborate on the things you do do, only on the things you don't want to do. I think this has given a false impression that you aren't planning to do Christmassy stuff at all. It did to me anyway!

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JoanWilderbeast · 17/11/2021 20:02

Good for you. Don't be guilted by the people who actually enjoy the faff but go all martyred if it's not appreciated.

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speakout · 17/11/2021 20:02

Why is it odd that some children aren't bothered about Christmas decorations?

Because their parents find no joy in them.

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Chenga · 17/11/2021 20:03

Why are you posting on here? What is it you want to hear?

No one should get into debt for Christmas but there has to be a happy medium between excess and a little bit of indulgence.

Your kids say they aren’t bothered about the tree and decorations because you’re not. Same about the chocolates. Is there an 11 year old anywhere who doesn’t enjoy a tree or an advent calendar?
Christmas is hard work but you’re making traditions and memories forever. My DH grew up in a family like yours. He didn’t know Christmas could be at all magical til he married me and spent time with my family, and we certainly don’t go OTT or overspend.

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garlictwist · 17/11/2021 20:05

DP and I are not really Christmas people - we don't have a tree or decorations and sometimes don't even bother with the meal. This is complete anathema to my mother who cannot understand how one can possibly exist without these things.

We enjoy Christmas in our own quiet way. It doesn't all have to be tinsel and Slade.

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OnwardsAndSideways1 · 17/11/2021 20:06

Are you a single mum, OP? Just wondering because I am and so all of Christmas falls onto me, and I've definitely been less enthusiastic on my own- as you say, debt, rushing around like crazy (and working f/t), no-one else to do anything or delegate to, it gets silly. I've ended up not looking forward to Christmas through being the one to do it all over the years- I dread the whole palava because if you are the mum, it's just not relaxing and you aren't pampered and holidayish at all.

I think picking the things you like best- in our case, tree, nice dinner we cook together, decent main present and a small stocking, and leaving out the rest is just fine.

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Poppins2016 · 17/11/2021 20:07

I'm on the fence.

You don't need to decorate, spend lots or go mad on food in order to have a good/happy Christmas. We have quite modest Christmases and don't regret it (although I will say that we have a real tree and reuse decorations).

But, to offer an alternative perspective... when I was growing up I remember my mother being so negative about certain things that I would just go along with whatever she said for a easy life and pretend I was OK with her choices, even if I wasn't. As long as this isn't the case, I think it's fine.

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OnwardsAndSideways1 · 17/11/2021 20:10

But, to offer an alternative perspective... when I was growing up I remember my mother being so negative about certain things that I would just go along with whatever she said for a easy life and pretend I was OK with her choices, even if I wasn't. As long as this isn't the case, I think it's fine

I agree with this. I don't let on what a Grinch I am and I still do a lot of the stuff I wouldn't do if I were on my own so the teens have that option to enjoy them.

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elp30 · 17/11/2021 20:11

My mother lived with cancer from the time I was seven, was bedridden when I was ten and died when I was nearly eleven.

We had a Christmas tree put up (my sister and I did it her final Christmas) and my father put a few lights around the windows and that was it during those years for decorations.

I do remember my aunts and uncles picking up nuts and candies and seasonal fruit to keep around the house. They'd also bring seasonal food for us to keep our spirits. She would instruct her friends to buy a few presents for us and the whole family, on her behalf. I remember her boss collecting "an envelope" with a list and money and her workmates bringing stuff wrapped. My father was a professional musician so he was dutifully working since my mother couldn't work in her last year. He would pay someone to make us a meal on Christmas Eve.

After her death, we didn't do much but put the tree up and my Dad decorated the windows or the house and that was it. I was eleven, on that first Christmas, and I actually didn't mind it because I couldn't remember anything different.

I am truly minimal with my Christmases still and I have three adult children and three grandchildren. I put up a tree, have seasonal candy, nuts, put lights on my windows, make a simple meal on Christmas Day and it's definitely rarely traditional as this year will be pizza, and buy a few gifts for everyone. I definitely don't spend very much time or money. No one seems as though they're missing out.

Well, maybe my English MIL but whatever... 😝

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OnwardsAndSideways1 · 17/11/2021 20:14

@elp30 your Christmas sounds charming and lovely. Hugs to you for losing your mum.

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FinallyHere · 17/11/2021 20:14

Now I'm finally breaking away to do what my household is happy with, and it's apparently wrong

Stand your ground, @TheChip

The whole point of being an adult is to do things your way, only your opinion counts in the end about what your children want and shall have.

Anyone pressuring any other adult to go into debt to buy tat is not a good role model.

Encourage your children to be independent minded, too. Their lives will be all the better for it.

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MadeOfStarStuff · 17/11/2021 20:19

There are so many MN threads from September onwards of people worrying about upsetting other people, doing things because they feel they have to, trying to please everyone else, they’re making Christmas miserable for themselves

YANBU to do Christmas in a way that makes you and your kids happy. Sounds like you actually get to enjoy the bits you do rather than stressing over trying to do everything and please everyone

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BlueBellsArePretty · 17/11/2021 20:24

Why don't you get a fibre optic tree, just fluff up the branches, plug it in and switch it on and voila Christmas tree done!

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TrulyPistoff · 17/11/2021 20:30

Why did you even post this? You don’t care anyway. You just want everyone to tell you it’s ok to not bother, even if you have children (shaped by your opinions, if you don’t care - why would they?).

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Mummyratbag · 17/11/2021 20:36

Each to their own! You would hate me Heart Christmas on the radio...decorations, Santa duvets, Santa shower curtain all out 1st Dec(all resused). I do admit that it can be a bit stressful, but I hate the lack of light at this time of year and it makes a good distraction..

I have happy memories of family, cosy Christmases with 70s decorations, a tin of Quality Street and The Wizard of Oz etc on the TV.. it's all a comfort blanket. I want my kids to remember their childhood Christmases in the same way. For what it is worth I can only remember a couple of the gifts I got..I remember the excitement more.

Can't imagine my kids being happy about no decorations, but I think that it is familiarity, if we'd never done it then maybe they wouldn't care.

Enjoy your stress free Christmas OP - I will be doing my headless chicken act until I no longer can.

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Snowisfallinghere · 17/11/2021 20:37

I find it sad that the kids don't care, that seems rather joyless for an 11 year old Sad Most cultures have at least one really big traditional festival to celebrate, whether that's Ramadan, Diwali, Christmas... It's unusual not to have at least one big festive event like that to look forward to each year.

If I were in your position I'd just scale back, not give it all up.

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TheChip · 17/11/2021 20:40

Yeah, my bad for how I've worded things. As I said in my OP, it was more a vent that I needed and I felt better after I'd typed it out. I then posted out of curiosity to see how many others thought I was cold for not decorating and buying lots of chocolate.

I dont not buy chocolate either, we make cakes and cookies so there's chocolate there Grin but I do buy the odd bits.
My family are the type who buy a selection of the quality street, celebration and roses boxes, as well as chocolate oranges and matchmakers. Allllllllll of the stuff that goes on display for Christmas. Because I'm refusing to do the same thing, it's being added to the list of why I should make more of an effort.

As for putting up a tiny tree or small decorations, again...that would only be to please others, not this household. If the kids really wanted decorations, then I'd carry on with them. But they lost interest years ago, and for years I carried on until I realised I wasn't doing it for the kids anymore or myself, it was because other people expected it.

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DoctorSnortles · 17/11/2021 20:43

Well done, OP. Make sure you turn the heating off as well and remove the lightbulbs, to get the full effect of Misery Christmas. As a special treat, everyone could have a raw sprout and a sip of tepid water, but only if you are feeling particularly festive.

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choli · 17/11/2021 20:44

If the kids really wanted decorations they would put them up themselves. I didn't care for them when I was a kid. I did like presents and seeing family though

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ToykotoLosAngeles · 17/11/2021 20:44

I have happy memories of family, cosy Christmases with 70s decorations, a tin of Quality Street and The Wizard of Oz etc on the TV.. it's all a comfort blanket. I want my kids to remember their childhood Christmases in the same way. For what it is worth I can only remember a couple of the gifts I got..I remember the excitement more.

Same here. When I reached about 15 my mum stopped putting up a tree and started plopping one tasteful cream and gold wreath on the fireplace. It made me feel like I'd been a horrible burden all those years, and feel sad that she clearly didn't see those happy memories in the same way as I did. It was like "Thank god I don't have to bother with Christmas any more".

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PandaP0p · 17/11/2021 20:48

Sounds a bit joyless to me , especially as your kids are still relatively young - ie teens and not adults. It wouldn't suit me - but then I'm the type to buy loads of gifts, have a beautiful tree, loads of chocolates and food, advents, Christmas Eve boxes.. the lot.

And that doesn't sound like something you'd enjoy. So you can only do what you feel comfortable with really

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TheChip · 17/11/2021 20:49

@DoctorSnortles

Well done, OP. Make sure you turn the heating off as well and remove the lightbulbs, to get the full effect of Misery Christmas. As a special treat, everyone could have a raw sprout and a sip of tepid water, but only if you are feeling particularly festive.

I'll have to settle with carrots. Sprouts are too christmassyGrin
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