The older I get the more I realise that Christmas is not all about what you give or get, but about being there with your family. This was compounded with a health scare and even more when my mum died at Christmas four years ago. So now MadDad and I focus on our presence rather than the presents.
Growing up my dad always told us the following rules and this is something we have tried to instill in our children.
Sally from Who’s the Mummy has posted today about Counting the Cost of Christmas where she honestly talks about the pressures of being in financial difficulty and she has some great advice including using a mortgage calculator (Like this one from TSB) to make sure you can afford repayments and contacting Stepchange who can help if you are struggling with credit card and other finance payments.
I have always endorsed buying second hand or preloved and my boys are more than happy to receive second hand toys and as a family we believe that second hand is not second best.
So I want to reassure people that in the years to come that children will not remember what presents you bought them, but they will remember the traditions that you have and sprinkling reindeer food on the lawn on Christmas Eve. They will remember the games you play and the time you spend together. The 36th Avenue has a fantastic post of the ten things that children will always remember.
So if you are feeling a little stressed, take a leaf out of Frugal Family’s book and adopt an attitude of gratitude and hopefully it will help put things into perspective for you.