I don’t want to freak you out but it is 92 days until Christmas! I’m not one to get excited about Christmas early, in fact I don’t want to see a single bauble or a glimpse of Rudolph’s snoz until we are firmly in December.
However, as a tight-arse with a touch of the Grinch about me, I need to plan ahead a little when it comes to the most expensive blow-out season of the year. I’ve disliked Christmas in the past because of what it’s come to represent – stressed out people pushing their credit cards to the limit in an effort to surround a twinkling tree with big presents.
I really, truly believe that when it comes to December 25, it is the thought that counts, not how many receipts you collected from the mall. Lucky I feel this way, because Christmas is hard on one income, with two kids you want to spoil, half a million extended family members you love with all your heart and lots of extra little people who really like presents.
My mum friends and I have had “the talk”. They’re just like me – not keen on buying expensive gifts for every Tom, Dick and Gary. In our group, we’ve decided to throw a fun Christmas party for the kids and come up with a Secret Santa or Lucky Dip scenario. The kids will have a ball!
We’ve minimised spending in my own family too. A few years ago we started a Secret Santa tradition amongst my siblings and their partners. We buy one gift each every year and it makes our Christmas get together fun and random while taking the pressure off us all. I’m so glad we came to this agreement, because we were all in the same boat, splashin’ cash on presents nobody could afford.
I think it’s really worthwhile for those facing the Christmas pinch, to have a chat to your family and friends and set expectations. Who should we buy for? How much should we spend? Shall we just cut each other off and instead share a Christmas giggle over a bad cracker pun?
Christmas should be about getting together, enjoying your loved ones and having big hugs, big laughs and too much ham. This year I’m starting my Christmas list early so I can nail thoughtful gifts which tell my special people that they mean a lot to me. I can’t wait to see the looks on their faces when they open their presents and have to pretend they like the socks I knitted them or my terrible attempts at mosaic art. Ha!