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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.

Chenga · 17/11/2021 20:50

How can a kid who is 11 now have lost interest in decorations “years ago”?

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CraftyGin · 17/11/2021 20:50

We are Christian so do not get caught up in all the tat nonsense.

If your youngest is 11, get them and their elder siblings to do any decorations they want. Make it a team effort, and enjoy the fellowship with your family.

Never, ever get stressed, or out of pocket.

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TeachesOfPeaches · 17/11/2021 20:52

My son is 5 and I really can't be bothered with keeping up the Father Christmas nonsense

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StormyTeacups · 17/11/2021 20:54

If you already have them, why do you not bother putting the decs up?

Do you have a tree?

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Bluntness100 · 17/11/2021 20:54

Op. Aibu
Mn, yes
Op, am I fuck my kids love it thay I make no effort.

Why ask op? Your “household” loves it. Crack on.

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bunnybopbop · 17/11/2021 20:55

Do your kids really seem not bothered? Or have they just been raised to not be bothered because you don't?

It sounds a pretty miserable / boring day.
Maybe they don't care for it because they haven't experienced it.
I think it's a bit sad. I couldn't imagine not putting up decs or creating a lovely Christmas atmosphere for my family but that's just me.

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Amoozbooze · 17/11/2021 20:59

I'm not bothered about Christmas either. We will go to my mums house because she likes it an always puts a tree up.. I'm vegetarian so I've not eaten traditional Christmas Dinner. I lived outside the UK for around 20 years being away from family, ad often in countries that don't celebrate Christmas so I just lost interest I guess.

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Fernhilde · 17/11/2021 21:01

Even on this thread, some posters can't cope with your not having decorations 🤣

Decorations are my favourite part of Christmas but I have no trouble accepting that other people don't like or want them. Even 11 year olds.

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SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius · 17/11/2021 21:03

There seem to be two options here. Either a) @TheChip is a miserable Grinch, whose children spend the whole of December pressed up against other people’s windows, yearning for the merest scrap of tinsel, with a festive feast of dry bread and water to look forward to on the 25th.

Or b) she knows her children much better than we do, and knows they are genuinely happy celebrating Christmas in her way - and she is good mum who would do more if her kids said they wanted it.

I think b) is correct.

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Bloodybridget · 17/11/2021 21:08

I think the important part of Christmas, whatever your age, is having a happy time whoever you're with. I remember a miserable Christmas Day when I was a teen, when my dad was in a bad mood all day. The tree and the decorations didn't make it ok. If you and your DCs have a good time together, that's all that matters.

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Lady1576 · 17/11/2021 21:09

I don’t think your Christmas sounds joyless at all. You give some nice well-chosen presents and have a dinner that everyone likes. It sounds calm and it sounds like they have a mum who is happy and enjoys the Christmas you now have. My mum made Christmas magical and nearly had a breakdown over it every year. I still appreciate the effort she made and it did bring us joy but it’s also good that she’s now a lot more relaxed about it. I say you’re winning at this!!

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malificent7 · 17/11/2021 21:16

Up to you op. I love a bit of Christmas sparkle but it can be overdone.

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choli · 17/11/2021 21:54

@bunnybopbop

Do your kids really seem not bothered? Or have they just been raised to not be bothered because you don't?

It sounds a pretty miserable / boring day.
Maybe they don't care for it because they haven't experienced it.
I think it's a bit sad. I couldn't imagine not putting up decs or creating a lovely Christmas atmosphere for my family but that's just me.

Are all the other days of the year miserable and boring through lack of tacky decorations?
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Sh05 · 17/11/2021 22:07

I don't understand why so many posters insist that without decorations your house must be miserable.

Read her updates people, she used to decorate when the children were small but now doesn't because they enjoy themselves just as well without the decorations!

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TheChip · 17/11/2021 22:23

Thats the problem I have with my family. They are convinced that without decorations and overspending on gifts and chocolate, that we must have a miserable Christmas.

I understand there is an enjoyment there for people with the whole decorating to get into a Christmas mood and things, and people enjoy splurging on gifts and tat that are not really needed. But to think that anybody who doesn't do that are miserable and joyless is a bit over the top.

From my experience, people are often so stressed out by Christmas that they don't even really enjoy it and are glad when it's over. Myself included when I was doing the expected thing. Now I actually enjoy it, so the kids don't have a stressed out mother who's secretly gutted that they don't like half the stuff I'd bought or didn't eat the meal I'd spent hours cooking.
Its an enjoyable day for us all.
But for some reason, I am frowned upon by my family because I dont do what they do. It seems many people agree with them, too.

I'll accept that I am unreasonable to expect my family to understand my point of view.

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HollyandIvyandAllThingsYule · 17/11/2021 22:30

I think you just need to grey rock them on this. They can wibble about it all the want - if you know that you and your children are happy and that Christmas is a joyous time, that’s all that really matters.

We have a low key Christmas, really, although I do decorate and we have lots of good food and drink and many little traditions of our own from Advent right up to 12th night. But in terms of making it all about material things or buying a load of tat every year, we just don’t do that.

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NinjaTuna · 18/11/2021 04:15

My mum moaned about the 'stress' of Christmas throughout my childhood and it was all on her.
The epic card list, presents for all, the house being cluttered and impossible to clean. She's really impressionable to how society sees her.
She still puts a tree up early, moans for four weeks and takes it down by the 27th. Fights through a bulging admin list of cards and has a display table of snacks.
I rebel by protecting my kids from the consumer stress like you and identifying what's important for us but it's hard work and you question your judgement.
I don't buy and discourage buying obligation presents so it's really just a few, key, close people. My mum sends a pointless gift to my pil she met 21years ago! Limited cards, enjoy writing them to people who need them because they get a big kick out of them.
Decorations, a few, just before Xmas Eve, I then enjoy the novelty till nearly new year, sad to see them go.
My mother's moaning kills Xmas for me but I've found a way to make it work for my family.

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Jerrysgonnabeacableboy · 18/11/2021 04:42

'Christmas decorations' - what do posters mean by that exactly?

I think there's a big difference between having no Christmas tree at all vs having no other decorations (wreaths, centrepieces, garlands, lights, etc)

I think just a decorated tree is enough to say you've decorated but maybe I'm more low key than I thought?

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CSIblonde · 18/11/2021 04:52

Why is it all or nothing? Go for a happy medium is always your best bet re stress & cost. The ritual & fun of a tree & decorating was always my & my siblings job. My DM never did it. Same tree & decs year in year out. Buffet on Boxing Day. Non OTT Xmas dinner ( not 7 types of veg or bread sauce & no Christmas pudding as no one liked it & have already eaten chocs).

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MrsJackWhicher · 18/11/2021 05:05

YADNBU
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
A lot of people are like this -want to know why you have not ‘ordered’ your turkey months ahead or obsessively bagged an Ocado delivery slot for Xmas Eve.
I but a turkey crown from Lidl the day before snd there is no stress or waste.

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Minceandonions · 18/11/2021 05:07

I agree that you don't need to be buying loads of food and sweets. You give a few presents within your means and that's great. I'm surprised though that your kids are happy without a tree with twinkly lights (I don't have kids so don't know what they're in to), but you know them better than anyone else. I wonder when they grow up and get their own homes if they'll follow your minimal christmas, or go 'all out'!

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Wilkolampshade · 18/11/2021 07:09

I get worn down by it too OP. In my case, and this may not be the same for you of course, it's that I find myself in sole charge every year and NO-ONE else does anything to help, not a single present, sausage roll, or string of dec's sorted by anyone else... I'm glad you've found a sensible compromise and maybe I'll have a think about it again... Although in my case I think DD2 may not be quite so pragmatic about it.. 🤔

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Oblomov21 · 18/11/2021 07:20

"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."

Actually I disagree with Bluntness. My youngest is not interested in tree, or decorations.

All he's interested in is having a Lindor large balls advent calendar, one present on Christmas Day, is the one he wants, ie the latest x box game or some such, he's not much interested in much else. And the fact he gets 2 weeks off school.

Then we all enjoy being off work, watching a couple of films, a posh roast, no stress. Slobbing about. After 2 or 3 days Dh then announces "right I'm off to fix the" .... garden gate .... some such project.

I don't find Christmas stressful at all.

So the above time could be at any other time of the year, eg Easter?

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cookiemonster2468 · 18/11/2021 07:58

The kids are probably picking up on your vibes around the decorations. If you're not excited, they won't be. If you're negative about Christmas being too much fuss, they'll probably feel the same.

That doesn't mean that you "should" get excited. Just saying that is probably the reason. It's really up to you how much effort you want to put in or if you even want to celebrate at all.

I certainly have happy childhood memories and am glad my parents put the effort in. I have a friend who didn't celebrate Christmas as a child but now as an adult loves it and goes over the top every year. I think she does feel she missed out.

At the end of the day children will go with the flow of what their parents do.

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senorafridgidaire · 18/11/2021 07:59

My mum (single parent) was a bit of a Grinch, we had a sad little fake tree that got dragged out for years, she made it clear she hated cooking Christmas dinner, and presents were minimal. She remarried when I was a teen and her husband took a similar view. No overindulgence or getting drunk or playing games or fun of any kind. Just eat your dinner, have one glass of wine only, and watch TV until 9pm when everyone goes to bed. Just like any other day but with different dinner.

Never thought to complain about it when I lived there, that's just the way it was.

But as I got older and saw how other people 'did' Christmas, and I had options, I always opted to spend it elsewhere - boyfriends parents, friends, on holiday, and now just with DH.

Beware you don't reap what you sow in later life OP!

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