So it’s been a few weeks since my last post, it’s been a bit busy what with the time of year and all…….
Ahh Christmas. The time for all things glittery & shiny. What is it about the shops that make everything seem so much nicer at Christmas? Candles, soaps, numerous bottles of alcohol. Everything down to boring old pyjamas and socks seem much more purchasable at this time of year. I mean, I’m partial to a spot of shopping anyway but for someone on a budget like myself it can be just as tortuous as it is amazing. I have a knack of being drawn to the most expensive item in a shop. I like to call it my spiritual gift.
But……then I wrestle with how it’s so commercialised now, so competitive these days. I can’t tell you the number of people I have unfollowed on Facebook because of the excessive posting of pictures of ridiculous mountains of presents around the tree that quite frankly make me roll my eyes but also feel a bit shitty, a bit panicky, asking “Should ours look like this? Why doesn’t ours look like this? Have I failed my children?” which is COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS. And then I realise it is completely ridiculous and the rational ageing side of me gives myself a bloody good talking to and off I go on a google search frenzy of parenting forums to reassure myself I’m not alone.
I will however hold my hands up and admit in the past I have been hugely over the top with the present buying for my children. As a parent you always want your children to have the most amazing childhood, to have great memories of growing up. Although it may seem obvious to most that of course it’s not all about the money and children who get everything they want (and more) can grow up to not only have a sense of over entitlement but also have been proven to have lower self-esteem (trust me, there’s a wealth of articles online if you google the effects of spoiling children. Which I have). Sometimes I’ve needed to be reminded of this.
It’s not just the presents though. There’s the days out, panto, santa trips, ice skating. A friend once asked me if she was a really bad mum for not organising all this for her child. And of course she isn’t. AT ALL. But I knew where she was coming from. I want to do it all too, despite it adding costs and pressure to an already expensive time of year.
Just last week we took the two youngest kids to Longleat for a Christmas trip out and to see the Festival of Lights and Santa experience. We honestly had a really lovely time, the girls loved it and in terms of successful family days out (we’ve had some that made us vow to NEVER bother again *bloody ungrateful children*) it was a winner. But it was, in my opinion anyway, A LOT of money and to be honest not something we really should have been spending on at this time of year. We’ve been ignoring a huge amount of household DIY jobs and it probably could have paid for the new downstairs loo that has been on the To Do list for almost three years. Yes dear husband, if you’re reading this, IT HAS BEEN THREE YEARS.
We are all guilty of at some stage either overcompensating for the stuff we never had growing up, being a bit excessive, or bowing to pressure. Of course I’m not saying any of this is bad or makes anyone a terrible parent, far from it. I’m guilty of it all at some stage but I think what I’m trying to (probably not very well) say is does not having any of this make Christmas any less magical for children? No. After all, sometimes the simple things are the best.
Now I best go move the sodding Elf before we have two girls crying in the morning because they think he’s lost his magic. I think this year he will be biding farewell and buggering back off to the North Pole (the loft) for good……..