Thursday, 16 December 2010

That love:hate thing

So how do you feel about Christmas?

I confess I have a passion for twinkly lights, tinsel, sparkles, warm fires, comfort food, overindulgence, and an obscene blow-out after a year of frugality.

Yet at the same time I feel a sense of unease, a hint of guilt.

I love the idea of an old-fashioned, home-made, it's-all-in-the-thought, Christmas. You know the thing, everyone gathered round the tree sharing a home-made mince pie and one handmade present each.

But at the same time I desperately want to break free from a year spent being resourceful and thoughtful and restrained. I watch tv. I have friends who buy their kids laptops and ipods. And even though I know it's really not in the spirit of an ethical Christmas I want to buy buy buy! I want to spoil the kids! I want them to have a huge pile of presents to get excited over. I want to give them everything they've ever wanted (and more)! And actually I wouldn't mind a few decent gifts myself.

I don't want to budget or home-bake, I don't want to buy secondhand and secondbest. I don't want to make-do, because I do it all year round and I am heartily sick of it.

So all my nice homely good intentions go out the window, and in comes commercial obscenity, frantic purchasing, and an icky feeling in the pit of my stomach.

I wonder, is there a middle ground?

Do you spend Christmas as you spent Christmas as a child?
I assume that the seeds of 'how Christmas should be' are planted in our childhood, mine certainly were.


arwen_tiw said...

I love love love Christmas, but I don't resent home made or second hand as the poor relation to buying expensive gifts. I enjoy making gifts and things almost more than anything about Christmas day itself... I love thrifty and thoughtful shopping, though I didn't always! I think that choosing simplicity is different emotionally to having no choice about it. Then it feels like a pressure and a bereavement rather than a gift. It cartainly felt different last year when hubby was out of work - even though I know for sure we spent twice what we have this year!

(My children do have one gift each this year, I have hand-made all presents for other people, and I just made mince pies. LOL)

MadameSmokinGun said...

I have that dilemma - I love the home-made ting. And the kids always groan. This year I didn't mention any such notion - and I know for a fact that Daddy and I will be showered with drawings and lego creations. So there we go.

Trying to be 'simpler' this year. Still have tons and tons of wrapped up delights under the blinkin' tree. First year we've done the 'under the tree' in advance bit actually - and Thuglet has only ripped one! Amazing.

I also now have a personal wrapper (Minx) so don't need to send Daddy and whole family off the in-laws for entire day to get all that shit done. Downside = Polar Bear Boy 'helped' with Minx's ones - and has counted each and every tiny item as ONE present - and this doesn't quite match up with his total of wrapped things. I say 'you'll all get the same number of presents' - meaning equivelent parcels - but a bundle of 'girly' stuff that I mark down as one present is actually 4 earrings, 3 bracelets in one pack, a scarf etc and is therefore '8 presents'. Bloody hell!!

NEXT year I'll get it right!!

PS Did you see 'The Middle' the other day - all about The Orange. My very words coming out of the mouth of an American sit-com mother! Spookily spot on and very funny.

Thanks for this post - The love-hate thing! So right!!

PS Happy Xmas!!!!!

kelly said...


I posted about this today - before reading this.

I have a dilemma, because this year I have spent a scary amount on the kids, but justify it with the fact that we economise all year, and really, it is the best feeling EVER when the kids creep downstairs to see a HUGE pile of presents!

So, once a year we do go a bit crazy....but once a year is OK, isn't it?

Big mamma frog said...

Yeah...a once a year blowout! Think, hopefully I've gone made enough, but not sooo mad, over presents. I guess we will see tomorrow.