The Christmas Pressure.

As soon as November hits we are BOMBARDED with things that we simply have to buy/do/make/book etc etc to make Christmas absolutely spectacular.

Is it just me, or does it seem to get bigger every year? We’ve always had the nativity costume and the presents under the tree and the carrot for Rudolph but nowadays it feels like we have to do all of this PLUS elf on the shelf, a Christmas Eve box, personalised pyjamas, glitter adorned hot chocolates, a festive photo shoot and a partridge in a pear tree.

I hope you’re not thinking that I’m just a complete Grinch, honestly I could not love Christmas more. I ADORE this time of year. A hint of jingle bells and I get the excited jitters. If you want to do all of that stuff and more then you get the tinsel out and go for it. My point is, I think it’s so easy to feel pressured into doing so much that we run ourselves into the ground and then don’t find time to actually soak it all in.

Last year I ran myself ragged trying to make everything ‘perfect’ for everyone. This time I’m consciously making the effort to just enjoy it. I’ve really stripped back on the Christmas shopping and started it much earlier so that I’m nearly all done now. I don’t want to be pushed around in the busy shops anymore, it just makes me feel frazzled when I can’t park and I always regret not sorting things out sooner.

You should have seen the amount of presents our daughter had for her first Christmas. It was HUGE. It took 2 days to open it all and I had to do most of it as she wasn’t bothered. I honestly feel so embarrassed whenever I think about it. We promised we’d never do that again and we haven’t even come close. I would much rather spend our money on festive days out or things to enjoy together. My children obviously still get a bit spoilt at Christmas, but it’s a fraction of the monstrosity of 2014.

We’re lucky enough to get cooked for at Christmas so I only need to think about a starter. Christmas Eve will involve making a huge batch of spicy parsnip soup with my daughter, watching Elf with a tub of celebrations and leaving a glass of milk and carrot out for Santa and Rudolph. And honestly that’s it. My children are almost-2 and 4 so we don’t need anything else to make it magical.

I never take a photo of my children’s presents. I know a lot of parents do, and there will be countless numbers of these photos on Christmas Eve I’m sure, but it’s just not for me. I would hate for anyone to to see it and compare.

I don’t talk about money very often. It’s so subjective and it just makes me feel uncomfortable but there really is no escaping from how expensive this time of year is for everyone. SO! Here is a list of my absolute favourite things about this season that cost little or nothing:

  • The church carol service.
  • The school nativity.
  • Writing Christmas cards.
  • Decorating the tree.
  • Swapping my autumn candles for festive ones.
  • The school fayre.
  • Mulled wine.
  • Writing a letter to Santa.
  • Driving around to see the Christmas lights.
  • making it look like Santa has been on Christmas Eve.
  • Wrapping presents with a glass of Prosecco and Shakin’ Stevens.
  • When my husband breaks up from work and we have a solid week of family time ahead.
  • I said mulled wine, right?

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This Christmas, just do what you want to do. If you love Elf on the shelf, go for it. If you hate him, that’s cool too. (I’m in the latter camp!) It really doesn’t matter if Laura from across the street has better lights than Blackpool. Only you have your family and that’s all that you’ll really remember in years to come anyway!

Now, don the sequins, cry at the nativity and record all of the festive movies. It really, really is the most wonderful time of the year.

Merry Christmas, you filthy animals!

Knight Mummy x

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