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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.

Suzanne999 · 18/11/2021 17:47

I’ve had Christmases where I’ve had no decs, no fuss. Had Christmases where I worked full shifts (12 hours) Xmas Day and Boxing Day —- bliss, totally stress free.
You do what works for you and your family.

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Lincslady53 · 18/11/2021 17:53

We are making a determined effort not to buy loads of cheap, Chinese, plastic crap, so we will use our stored decorations. When there was the panic a few weeks back on Turkey shortages, we bought a frozen small stuffed turkey joint, and pigs in blankets as a stand by, but actually, I am quite looking forward to using it, instead of spending and arm and a leg on a huge turkey that we will get fed up of eating. Not bothered about presents this year either. Might treat myself to some gas and electricity instead.

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Mummabear89 · 18/11/2021 18:00

Honestly just do what is best for your family. We adore Christmas in this house. Just yesterday my son asked if we can put the Christmas tree up. But that is not what suits you and your family. If your children wanted it then I'd say do it for them but like you say they don't seem fussed by it so why should you get stressed out over something that they don't want

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minimecantrollerskate · 18/11/2021 18:04

YANBU. I never put up any decorations, although the tree does go up a week before Christmas and we decorate it together. I dont host anyone over Christmas due to lack of space and we aren't here for most of it anyway.

One year DD refused to help me tidy up to create room for the tree, so I threatened not to put it up, she said I dont care, so that didn't go up either.

We aren't usually here from Christmas Eve for a few days anyway, so it really doesn't bother us.

You do Christmas your way. I know someone who has put her tree up around 2 weeks ago and I think she is batshit but I would never say that to her, its her life and her choice.

We don't but loads of sweets and stuff either, although we buy a few bits, but mostly eat them spread out over January due to not being here over Christmas.

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GhoulWithADragonTattoo · 18/11/2021 18:07

A low key Christmas is fine but I do think I would a least do a tree with lights. I use same tree and decorations I’ve had for years but still love them. 11 is still young I think.

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mariominder · 18/11/2021 18:17

A really good thing about Christmas and kids growing up was when we started making the cooking of the meal as well as the eating it part of the day. One time when it's not true that too many cooks spoil the broth? Music, drinks, titbits, chat, everyone having an iron in the fire or a horse in the race . . .

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fetchacloth · 18/11/2021 18:21

YANBU 😁
As long as your kids are OK with it I don't see the problem.
When all said and done, it's your business how you wish to spend Christmas.

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Spermysextowel · 18/11/2021 18:26

My children & I have decided that we won’t bother with a tree this year. They’re early 20s now, but from mid-teens it’s ended up as a mini-battle of nagging them to help me get decorations out of the loft, move the exercise bike to fit the tree in etc. I’ve always felt as though it was compulsory but the faff just wasn’t worth it.
This year we’ve agreed that we’ll just put up some faux-pine garlands & lights round the hall & that’ll be it. We may also decorate the bike!

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theelephantinthegroup · 18/11/2021 18:32

Like you, we have a low key Xmas now the DC are a teens. We have a Xmas tree with lights/decorations (same ones each year) but no other decorations (apart from anything else, the dog tries to eat them so it's safer not to). They have presents that they actually want (and a few small surprises) and Xmas dinner is basically like a Sunday roast with a few extra nicer bits (vegetarian so no turkey anyway). MIL comes over most years. I don't spend half the day cooking and we don't have a house full of generic gifts no one really wants. We have a few extra snacks etc for boxing day but other than that don't have the freezer/cupboards full of extra food- the shops will be open again after boxing day.

I have friends and family who spend weeks prepping Xmas dinner and making/buying special food to keep in 'just in case' or because it's something they feel they must have over the Xmas period. Not to mention getting stressed out over what theme to have for the decorations/table settings this year and getting in to debt to buy 'stuff'. It doesn't seem like much fun to me.

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QueenofKattegat · 18/11/2021 18:43

I will also say that when your children are grown up and have partners don’t be surprised if you never see them at Christmas

I can't believe anyone would think this is an acceptable thing to say to another person. How vile can you get.

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speakout · 18/11/2021 18:46

Why is that vile- the OP already said she wouldnt care.

TheChip
I honestly wouldn't be bothered if my kids didn't want to spend Christmas here when they're adults.

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Carpedimum · 18/11/2021 18:59

I’ve said YANBU because I firmly believe you should do you & Christmas has gone beyond bonkers. I am paring down massively this year. That said, I can’t help imagining your kids as adults reminiscing that they felt left out of any merriment without a few decorations. Do you do other Christmassy things that aren’t over-commercialised like stir up Sunday or midnight mass?

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Mirw · 18/11/2021 19:04

When my Mum died, my Dad decided that there would be no more Xmas in his house. Great! My brother and his wife and kids want to come for Xmas and want the decorations, presents, etc. They aren't getting it at Dad's. He is selfish as am I. Nope. We are doing what we want/believe. Visit at another time if you don't like it is the answer.

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LoisLane66 · 18/11/2021 19:05

I'm on my own this Christmas as I can't please all 5 of my AC or GC and they all live more than 90miles away from each other and me.
2 are working on CD in the morning. I bought a eucalyptus tree from Aldi, pre-lit with 80 lights which can be on a timer. I plan to add a few lightweight decorations from Wayfair, pink fairies and small silver stars. That and a pair of silver reindeer ornaments from Homebase years ago which go on the windowsill, are all I'm doing. Maybe make a wreath for the door out of wire and foraged greenery and berries. No more expense. I bought new bedlinen last March which I've never opened so that will give my bedroom a new look and I aim to buy a new runner for the hall and a smart large sideboard with cane doors from Dunelm which will be my Christmas present from the AC as we won't be exchanging gifts. They asked what I'd like and I chose that to go in my bedroom. I'm quite excited TBH.

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JFM27 · 18/11/2021 19:05

I was an only child from a small family.my dads i hardly knew and my mum had one sister only so i had two cousins only both older than me.We never had massive christmases or loads of decorations didnt bother me,i was never a big fan of christmas, I had lovely parents who were generous but we didnt do christmas much.From when i was a young teen we went out for christmas lunch my parents and i.
I never understood the fuss about christmas and now i live alone i m even less bothered, o ive plenty if friends i see before christmas for meals out etc but christmas i m fine on own,You have to accept most people spend the day with families if you dont have one i found lt harder last year because lockdown meant not much socialising before.But as long as i can socialise the day itself doesent bother me i see no point in a christmas tree for one.

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Jewel52 · 18/11/2021 19:06

Also not excessive about Christmas, but think it’s a necessary evil to get through the dark winter months. Completely agree with you on the “no tat’ thing and limit present giving to closest family based on their wish list. I volunteer in a charity shop and January finds us inundated with unwanted gifts that people have thrown their cash away in 🙄!

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DaisyStiener · 18/11/2021 19:08

Leave the decorations out and ask DCs if they fancy putting them up? If they don’t bother, they don’t bother and you can tell your family so.

It’s the little Christmas traditions and activities that make it nice? You say DC are older - but would they not be into making mince pies? Or decorating a gingerbread house? Helping with the tree?
Let them string popcorn ( an Americanism - they’d probably love that rollseyes ) whilst they watch tv ?
( if anything, it might entertain them for a bit?)
Get a small prelit tree? Have you seen the trick where you clingfilm the tree, as is, put it away and next year just unwrap it? Genius !

Agree with dinner plans: no point if no ones fussed- 2019 I got DH and I a Chinese ! Was amazing Grin
And of course, over spending. Far more sensible to buy ,as you say: what they actually want ,only.
With care, is it your gritted attitude towards Christmas, rather than your actual choices your family find weird? Hmm

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EnigmaCat · 18/11/2021 19:28

I reckon the pressure you're getting is pressure to conform, they have accepted the you must do and buy into what is advertised/'everybody' does, not a reflection on you.
Most of these 'traditions' only started during the Victorian era and then used by advertisers since to flog stuff.
YANBU if your teens are okay with it.

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Floralnomad · 18/11/2021 19:34

@QueenofKattegat it’s not vile , the OPs children are only interested in presents and she can’t be arsed to put up a tree , why would anyone who comes from a normal family who decorate etc want to spend Christmas at the OPs house . Anyone who does a normal Christmas will want to spend their Christmas break with like minded people ( and a Christmas tree ) . Besides as the OP has said , she doesn’t care , so that’s fine .

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Dontforgetyourbrolly · 18/11/2021 19:40

You don't need to get into debt to enjoy Christmas, whoever thinks this has no idea what it's all about .
It's the season of good will , you sound miserable

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LoisLane66 · 18/11/2021 19:45

@Floralnomad
That's a bit harsh. You're only normal if you put up a tree and decorations? What if you go overboard and have the house, inside and out, decorated and lit up like Blackpool illuminations? Is that mega normal or abnormal?
All the debt surrounding Christmas comes home to roost in January and combined with rising prices for food goods and energy, I think it's sensible to limit festivities to what you can comfortably afford without using credit and taking into account what your children would be happy with and happy without.

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EnigmaCat · 18/11/2021 19:48

Dontforgetyourbrolly
Okay, how are the 'miserable people' supposed to go about joining in?

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Passenger42 · 18/11/2021 19:50

I just have a Christmas tree with fairy lights and a holly garland with lights over the fireplace. Sometimes less is more.

If your youngest is 11 it might be nice to put up a tree as I like some lights on the tree in the evening to feel festive.

I slaved over turkey last year and I’m cutting back this year. I might buy a piece of lamb and have a joint I like rather than a dry bird. Plus I have vegetarians coming this year who don’t care about a roast.

What I’m starting to hate are all these extravagant Xmas adverts on the tv , big families all sitting at massive open plan kitchens eating stacks of food, I feel sorry for kids who have nothing watching these adverts and it’s all hype to get people to waste money on rubbish party food.

Enjoy your day whatever you decide to do, as long as you eat something nice and exchange gifts that’s enough

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TheChip · 18/11/2021 20:02

@Dontforgetyourbrolly

You don't need to get into debt to enjoy Christmas, whoever thinks this has no idea what it's all about .
It's the season of good will , you sound miserable

That is one of my main points.
So how do I sound miserable?
I am refusing to get myself into debt, where as my family expect me to overspend on shit the kids don't actually want or need.

Like you say, it is the season of good will. So why does it matter if I have decorations up or not.
If no decorations mean that children would be miserable and have a joyless Christmas, then that's not right. They should be able to enjoy it with or without them. Mine do.
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Fleshmechanic · 18/11/2021 22:24

Lots of people don't even celebrate Christmas. Are those children's childhoods lacking too? It sounds like what you do is more than enough and they enjoy it so who cares. I absolutely love Christmas and go all in but that's something I like to do. It sounds like you have a wonderful time doing what you like to do too. Some people like to worry you for no reason. An unrelated example, I packed for my holiday to Iceland the day before. My SIL seemingly tried to freak me out and said she would have been packed a week before. Everyone does things differently.

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