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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.

SerenadeOfTheSchoolRun · 18/11/2021 22:38

You do what makes you happy for Christmas. It’s no one else’s business. Not everyone buys tubs of quality street - I never have done. I like a tree and some decorations but you don’t have to. Fewer presents that the children actually want and food that they like sounds great to me. I think overbuying of presents causes so much stress and makes Christmas hard work when it should be fun. I try to focus on the things I like to do in the season and cut back on the stress but it sounds like you are way ahead of me there. Good on you and enjoy your Christmas.

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Bertiebiscuit · 18/11/2021 22:55

Let's be really honest - Xmas is for small children - most adults dread it, waste money they haven't got, buying people things they don't need, eating too much of weird unhealthy food, and watching cr*p on t v - about as much fun as a wet week in Wigan - left to myself I would never bother - I've spent xmases in all sorts of interesting ways over the years - picnic on a beach, spa day, walk and picnic in woods, working in a rehab, long cycle ride, and painting my kitchen - all much better than the usual nonsense most people feel compelled to do - I crave a bit of smoked salmon and maybe some French pate des fruits for "Xmas" lunch

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CraftyGin · 19/11/2021 00:24

@Bertiebiscuit

Let's be really honest - Xmas is for small children - most adults dread it, waste money they haven't got, buying people things they don't need, eating too much of weird unhealthy food, and watching cr*p on t v - about as much fun as a wet week in Wigan - left to myself I would never bother - I've spent xmases in all sorts of interesting ways over the years - picnic on a beach, spa day, walk and picnic in woods, working in a rehab, long cycle ride, and painting my kitchen - all much better than the usual nonsense most people feel compelled to do - I crave a bit of smoked salmon and maybe some French pate des fruits for "Xmas" lunch

That's not being honest - at all.
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choli · 19/11/2021 04:16

@QueenofKattegat

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.

Anything is acceptable in defense of the magic of Christmas. Apparently.
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mumof2exhausted · 19/11/2021 08:34

@hangrylady

I bet your children would love decorations, they've probably just been conditioned into not being bothered because you're not. There's nothing wrong with it if everyone is happy but it sounds a bit joyless to me. Each to their own though.

Agree with this. Kids probably aware you don’t like decorations and kids nowadays seem to want to grow up so quickly so they say they’re not bothered. I bet they are. Takes no time at all and just have the same decorations each year - tree and some lights so no added cost either. I still hope to be decorating the tree with my kids with Christmas songs on when they are grown ups! Agree with not being stressed, we don’t go nuts with presents etc but you do sound very bath humbug
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mumof2exhausted · 19/11/2021 08:34

Ha ha auto correct bah humbug not bath humbug

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HarrietsweetHarriet · 19/11/2021 08:41

OP why don't you try putting up a few decorations, a string of fairy lights and maybe a little tree? A few candles even.
Your DC may be really thrilled you've made an effort and even something simple like a bit of ivy on your mantlepiece would look pretty with a few candles and a couple of sparkly baubles if you can't be bothered with a tree.
I'm with you on avoiding the plastic tat and not buying into the idea that you have to break the bank. I'm honestly happy with a couple of gifts , some nice chocolates and a book is all I ever hope for. My DD always says it's about us being together and she just likes to go for walks.
I fully appreciate Christmas is a tricky time for many people due to bereavement or not having happy memories of their own childhood Christmases, so do whatever feels right for you. There have been many years where I've felt I can't be arsed with it all, but DD encourages me and I'm always glad I did in the end.
Whatever you do I wish you and your family a very happy time.

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kitcat15 · 19/11/2021 09:02

@Sirzy

Are you sure children are happy with it that way? When they are young I do think to a point it should be about them - not in an OTT way but also not doing nothing at all

This
I'm not that fussed these days....but I decorate for the grandchildren really.....I always made an effort with my own 3 though
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GemmaRuby · 19/11/2021 09:07

We always had a lovely Christmas Day when I was growing up - but it was just the day, not the whole month of December.

More often than not we would go and buy the tree (real) on Xmas eve or a couple of days before. We would decorate it together but the rest of the house wasn’t decorated.

We had nice but small presents, not mountains of things, and had a nice family day together.

I think you can have a lovely family Christmas Day without all the excess hassle and waste that people expect.

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Treesandsheepeverywhere · 19/11/2021 09:08

@hangrylady

I bet your children would love decorations, they've probably just been conditioned into not being bothered because you're not. There's nothing wrong with it if everyone is happy but it sounds a bit joyless to me. Each to their own though.

My thoughts exactly. My parents didn't as a child and we knew it would be a "waste of money" so said we didn't mind when asked. In actual fact, it would have been great to be lost in the spirit of Christmas and enjoy it as a child. I now go above and beyond with decorations in our home without getting into debt. I use the same decorations year after year and budget for Christmas treats all year. Get my presents for next year in the boxing day and January sales.
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TheChip · 19/11/2021 09:17

The debt isn't from the decorations. I've got plenty of those still. The debt was from my family pressuring me to overspend on gifts for the kids that they didn't want or need, and ridiculous amounts of food, because without a mountain they wouldn't be happy.
Now I dont fall for the pressure, but it doesn't stop them going on and on and on with it.
Now that I don't put the tree up anymore or decorate, they have started on that. As if I am the worst mother in the world.

The kids are happy, and I am happy. Its everybody else who isn't.

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OldTinHat · 19/11/2021 09:20

I live alone and don't decorate unless DS1 comes to stay every third year. This is the third year so up to the loft I must venture...!

When my sons were teenagers I couldn't be bothered to decorate but my youngest revolted and got the stuff out of the loft and did it all himself.

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phoenixrosehere · 19/11/2021 10:06

I bet your children would love decorations, they've probably just been conditioned into not being bothered because you're not. There's nothing wrong with it if everyone is happy but it sounds a bit joyless to me. Each to their own though.

Christmas doesn’t begin and end in OP’s house. There is Christmas decorations everywhere and growing as it gets closer to Christmas. The children will also likely be doing Christmas decorations and some type of events at school and there are very few places that won’t remind that Christmas is coming.

These kids are also old enough to get the decorations out if they really want to. I doubt OP would stop them.

Why should OP do all these things if the children aren’t fussed and are happy the way things are? It may surprise some Christmas lovers but Christmas is not the be all for many people nor do many want all the stress and work that many (mainly women) decide to place on themselves. I’ve also noticed, it’s not really even about Christmas but some weird, bizarre competition on who can do it better, who did the most, who kept their composure when they really wanted to cry and then the absolute moaning about the inappreciativeness of all the work that they did that no one actually asked them to do in the first place but they’re only doing it because of peer pressure especially those with younger children who don’t even know or understand what is going on.

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MammaMacgill87 · 19/11/2021 11:19

I genuinely hate Christmas, as an adult I always have. It is NOT a joyus happy time filled with family and laughter and merriment. It's a time of stress, debt, forced interaction with people I neither want nor care to have anything to do with. Travel with four kids that is a stressful headache and crippling guilt over not buying enough or expensive enough gifts. A day spent in a kitchen for the food to be done in five mins then two weeks of falling over boxes and papers untill the bins eventually get collected.
This year however I'm just not doing it, I'm having Christmas at home with my kids, with no visitors on the day either. I'm not dragging four kids to anyone else's house to be surrounded with half cut adults falling out over Christmas music.
I do have a tree and minimal decorations, and I've told the kids they are getting one main present and then things like books/crafts and useful things that will last.
If people demand the presence of the kids they can wait till boxing day or sometime before they go back to school and they can bloody well come to me. Alot of people are already moaning about it but at the end of the day they all drive and don't have four kids to cart around (plus whatever gifts they end up being given)
My kids are more than happy with this arrangement and actually sounded happy when I said we aren't going out and about because they said they could stay in their jammies and enjoy all their new stuff
It's no-ones place to judge you or how you want to spend your time over a holiday and personally I think it sounds perfect

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Lavender24 · 19/11/2021 12:20

Yanbu. I hate all the pressure from the media and other people. My DD is three and I'm not buying her anything this year. She's still playing with last year's presents and all the toys she got for her birthday. She doesn't even know what Christmas is. I'll put the money from family aside to buy her toys/books/whatever as and when she needs or wants them.

We also always have chocolate and sweets in the house anyway (yes, scummy mummy I know!) so |'m not buying selection boxes where you're mostly just paying for plastic and a cardboard box.

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Christinatherabbit · 19/11/2021 12:42

I don't think it'd necessarily the ages as my eldest (21 18 and 16) probably prefer and get more excited about the decorations and Christmas arriving at the house more than our younger 3. Perhaps a little tree with some lights would be a compromise? We have a tradition of all decorating the tree together with a Christmas film on the first Friday of December. They so look forward to that part every year. All children are different though so if they genuinely don't want it then you know them best. Does seem a little sad to me but I am bias as I love Christmas and everything that comes with it!

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choli · 19/11/2021 19:27

I genuinely hate Christmas, as an adult I always have.
I wouldn't say I hate it, but it's a painful reminder of the severe inequality of society. This child with a huge pile of presents, many just for the "joy" of opening them. That child without adequate food, shelter or clothing.

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speakout · 20/11/2021 06:00

choli you could extend that to many areas of your life though.
You have a device to enable you to use the internet, presumable you find enjoyment in things that your money has bought?
You could sell your device to buy food for others.
You could exist on a diet of rice and beans , have only one outfit and sell your home if you own one.
Do you ever eat out or eat chocolate or enjoy things that your money can buy?
Do you feel pain if you eat in a restaurant knowing that others can't afford that?
Inequalities exist, caused mostly by structures rather than individuals.
I am not wealthy by UK standards, in global terms I am extremely comfortable.
I understand your discomfort but what is the alternative?
And can't we celebrate life while we can?
Christmas need not be about giving piles of useless tat.
It can be about celebrating life.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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