This year we have decided to take the “stuff” out of Christmas. I find myself getting stressed about Christmas earlier and earlier every year. Partly because of the shopping we feel pressured to engage in and partly because of the inevitable bombardment of…stuff.
We have enough stuff and I have enough stress so this year we just aren’t doing it.
For the first time ever I’m doing away with the polite “oh, you don’t have to get us anything” because that doesn’t actually mean anything. We have a fairly definitive list of things we would like across varying budgets and we are letting people know. It’s mostly stuff that we need, things that will make our lives that much easier. Things like stock pots and storage boxes for us, swimming lessons and tickets for our 3 year old.
We have warned people that if they don’t tell us something they want they won’t get anything, because we are done buying gifts for the sake of gifting.
Gift wrap is out the window, if I don’t already have it I’m not buying it. I’ll wrap in fabric or use Christmas stamps on brown boxes to pretty them up.
Certain things we’ve had a lot of over the last few years, we’ve gently asked not to have more because we are still enjoying the ones we have! This includes framed images and wall art – our house is cast concrete and it takes hours to drill into the walls to hang things. T-shirts are taking over, my husband gets 2 or 3 each year and they don’t wear out that quickly. Alcohol is a classic – we actually bought our own wedding bar, we still have the leftovers stashed away and at the last count, we had 7 bottles of Jack Daniels. We aren’t big drinkers at all so we imagine this will last us forever.
We also encourage second hand purchases – some of the best toys, clothes and gadgets we have came from charity shops (they just don’t make things like they used to!), give me 20 year old Brio trains and Duplo any day!
Santa will make an appearance with a couple of hardy wooden toys and some clothes and then we will focus on spending the day in togetherness with good food and family. I am so excited.
Now, before anyone says I’m ungrateful or entitled, I hear ya. I’ve been tormenting myself over this since July because it isn’t the “done thing”. My friends and family understand my situation, I’m sure there will still be some little token gifts that I will love anyway, I’m just taking the stress and the guess work out of the festive season because I need to start enjoying Christmas again.
Are you bucking any trends this year?