Hi guys! It’s that time of the year where Bonfire night has passed and the next exciting time is… CHRISTMAS, CHRISTMAS, CHRISTMAS!!!
Sorry to all the Festive haters, but I’m one of those that has the tree up mid November and Christmas films at the ready whenever we have a moment to sit and watch them.
Oh I do love the Christmas season, it really is such a magical time of the year and it’s over as quick as it begins. Although it is a lovely time, it can be easily mistaken for the most stressful time of the year too… I’ve already started getting a few stress twinges about the cost and anxiety on getting a perfect present for everyone. Im sure loads of you can relate, you want to show your love and care for your family but are aware this comes with a huge price tag. Last year I was probably at my poorest yet I managed to wack up a huge credit bill on trying to make sure I got everyone in the family gifts to show I care. 11 months on – and still paying for it mind you, I started to feel that stress rise again.
This time round I am gratefully in a better financial position and more importantly in a better mindset. I nearly lost what Christmas was about by getting caught up in gifts and pleasing people! The festive season isn’t about that and I made a vow to myself that I would never get into debt to make others happy. There’s other ways you can make people happy and spending lots of money doesn’t have to be one of them!
This time round when I felt the stress rising I literally shut it down. I decided to set a Christmas tradition with my close family members, I took to my sibling WhatsApp group to discuss ideas, below are a few of them. Feel free to use them or tell me what your family Christmas traditions are!
So here are a few of our faves:
- Put together a small hamper, including things like – a homemade soup jar (links below), festive candles, a bottle of their fave and small treats to enjoy.
- Each member buy one present to a value of X amount, then on the day you put all the participants names in a hat and we pick out who gets to pick first. Now once you’ve picked the order out of the hat the first person gets to pick and unwrap a present. Once unwrapped, the second person does the same but this time they have the opportunity to swap gifts with the first person if they’d like. Then the third person picks and they have the opportunity to swap their present with number 1 or number 2, and so on. We then will get to the end and if anyone still wants to swap their gift they have to do a forfeit off of a pre picked list. Keeping it fun and lighthearted throughout.
- Scratch cards
- Buy something that begins with the first letter of their name and set a budget. You could make it a comical present.
- Book a sibling day put in Jan as a gift to eachother.
- Secret santa is always a good shout too.
So theres just a few ideas that we came up with. We decided on the second option! So all each person needs to buy is one present within whichever budget that we set. We will also be buying a scratch card for every family member and popping it in their christmas card too. Not only it this saving everyone a few pence it allows us to have more time to do festive things like visiting Santa with the kids, going to Christmas markets etc rather than breaking out a sweat in a busy shopping centre, spending money that we probably don’t have.
Family, to me is about good times, good food, happiness and health. At Christmas it tends to be easy to forget that and even easier to get caught up in the hype of guilt spending.
What are your traditions or pains around Christmas?
What could you do differently this time round?
I hope those thoughts are running wild =)