Help. Christmas is upon me!
Well, actually it's not quite as it is only September. However, the supermarkets are starting to dedicate an entire aisle to festive food and every other advert on the tele is focused on pester power by advertising all the new and wonderful toys and games that children will no doubt be wanting from the big white bearded man. Anyone would think this festive event was next month not at the other end of this quarter!
My problem with this is that we have only just celebrated the last of our birthdays. The birthdays in this household are Boo- June, Monster - June, Hubby - July, Big T - August and finally mine in September. Pester power in this house began before my birthday this year and I am actually already fed up of having to explain why they can't have 100's of pounds worth of new toys because they are there, thrust into my children's faces because they have only just had new toys for their birthdays.
We don't spoil our children, we provide for them. We realistically look at what they have before deciding if they need extra toys to add to something big (train sets, race tracks, little people etc) and we look at whether they need anything new depending on age and ability. We compile a list of what they would like along with things they need (clothes, slippers, PJ's, underwear, bedding etc.) and let people choose what they want to buy for them so nobody feels like they have to buy something for £30 or more when their budget is only £5. The children NEVER get everything on their lists. We have tried really hard to educate our children to be grateful for what they get and 9 times out of 10 they prefer the smaller, cheaper toys to the more expensive ones anyway!
I just feel really pressured this year to indulge and splurge and to prepare all of the present buying before I am ready to do so. Friends of mine are already doing (and completing) their Christmas shopping and I am still trying to get my head around the change in season and the start of a new school year.
I am all for being prepared and spreading the cost but surely this should be at a pace that I am ready to do so and not when all the greedy business men decide they need to boost their income.
Our situation this year means that we will not have a lot of money to indulge in gifts as the children were very lucky to receive quite a lot for their birthdays in recent months so we have opted to indulge in the experience this year by taking the children on a small UK holiday packed with lots of fun festive activities and create some wonderful family memories that we hope will last longer than the noisy, battery eating contraption that 'Auntie Edna decides to posts 3 months later than Christmas to avoid the Christmas rush' to them. (This is something else that really makes me cross. If you're going to give a gift at least get it there on time!)
Christmas, for me, is about families. It is about watching my child in their Christmas production, getting up early and going to church, spending time with those that you love not about how many gifts are under the tree. It is about giving to others. It is about creating memories. It is about eating too much and playing silly games and taking photo's of each other dressed in your best (or worst hand knitted jumpers!) or slouched in your jammies all day watching movies. As long as we are all together and happy I don't really care who bought what. I just want to see the beautiful smiles of my children as we laugh and have fun as a family.
Most of all it is about creating a family memory. So thank you very much Mr Shop-Owner but this year we will not pressured by your consumer targeted marketing pressure to buy tons of plastic tat and spend our whole budget on crap we simply don't need. We will already have the best gift of all and it won't cost anything. We will have each other and that is what we will be celebrating and be thankful for this year!