Faith,  General

Struggling with Christmas Presents This Year

I used to be that person who kept an eye out for the perfect Christmas presents throughout the year. I’d make a formal list for everyone around  early November and there’ll be genuine excitement as each item was ticked off. Shopping for others was a joy regardless of whether I’d get anything back. This year I’m really struggling with Christmas presents and the culture around it.

Struggling With Christmas Presents This Year - The Growing Mum

My NCT group decided to only do secret santa for the babies which was a great relief as last year it was pressies for the mums and that was hard. I suggested family secret santa and that was initially well-received. Then as a few people couldn’t make it, others decided the numbers were now manageable so secret santa was scrapped. The easy, breezy, one-present dream was not going to become a reality. I was irrationally upset! So what’s wrong with me? Am I being ungrateful at others generosity? What’s changed recently-ish?

I now have a 16 month old!

Need I say more? Any form of shopping with him is a challenge to say the least. Another pair of hands are needed to keep him entertained unless your going to shop with your eyes only. I’m talking tears because he’s strapped in the pram indoors (he expects to be let out once in a shop), constantly running out of the shop, floor tantrums if he can’t push the pram or other objects inside.

I’m expecting number 2

Yep I’m a sucker for sleep deprivation! Ha! I’m just getting through to tiredness phase so everything has been a chore. I lack the energy to go round stores and hitting my bed at 8pm doesn’t leave much time for online shopping.

Actual “needs” have already been met

One of my gifting motivation is to give good presents i.e. ones that satiate a need and hopefully is a surprise to the recipient. We’re fortunate enough to afford items when we need them so coming up with a long list of “wants” is quite difficult. Kids on the other hand always have a need – next size clothes, shoes, pasta-in-a-plastic-bottle toy haha

I want things to be simpler

Yes, I love giving presents but I don’t like the pressure to reciprocate. Spending time with each other is both demanding and rewarding enough for me. I’m not a complete spoilsport so I’m open to the token gift exchange for the traditionalists in our family – but there must be a way to keep it simple, fun and meaningful.

The true meaning of Christmas

Why are we celebrating? For most, it’s probably not the birth of Jesus. Also where did Santa come into it and how does a Christian marry the 2 personalities with kids? I’m not against Santa but I had a different upbringing so the big, red, bearded guy squeezing into houses did not feature in my childhood. As a believer, the story of Jesus should be central to our tradition. This way Santa plays a lesser role whether or not we choose to introduce him to the kids. I know of non-Christians who find other avenues to get a real meaning from the season like giving time or material to those in need. Whatever your beliefs, a deeper meaning may help focus the mind when buying piles of presents for people who may not need them. This reminds me – Rita Ora was recently interviewed on Radio 1 and was asked about the character she played in her school nativity. She didn’t know what nativity was! It was cringeworthy as Nick perceived in his quest to get a response. If you’re interested she may have played a goat or any other character. It was not very conclusive haha.

Hormonal and getting old

All this could just be down to the pregnancy hormones or the onset of an early midlife crisis. It’s Christmas eve and there presents still to be acquired, badly thought out presents waiting to be wrapped and unsent cards on the dining table. Hopefully it’s a temporary blip and I’ll be all over it next year.

I did enjoy making the cards with the little one though 🙂 Saved a small fortune too!

Christmas Card Craft 2017 - The Growing Mum

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