Sunday, 11 December 2016

Keep Christmas Simple

Happy Sunday!

Christmas consumer train, choo choo
I love Christmas. Always have and I'm sure always will. Over my 37 years of life the festive experience has evolved from me being the enchanted innocent believer. (I still remember laid in bed listening out for Sleigh Bells and then waking to discover "he's been!!!" ) To the suspicious semi believer. (My suspicions were ruthlessly confirmed catching my parents mid present passing after one too many Sherrys.) To the hungover Christmas Eve party animal. To now me being the chief planner, organiser and maker of Christmas magic for my own children.

Over the years traditions have changed. New ones started and other ones faded. Which is only natural. Unfortunately along the way I reckon we have managed to over think it...

Toy Advent Calendars
A small chocolate treat behind a cardboard door. I still remember the excitement of getting to eat chocolate before breakfast for 24 days. That was special enough. There is a now a new trend, advent calendars made up of 24 small gifts. I'm sorry but WTF? So by the time your little darling gets to the 25th of December they've already had 24 presents. Not sure they'll be bothered by this point if Santa visits or not.

Christmas day you say? Bored already.

Elf on the Shelf
A more recent phenomenon which to me doesn't make any sense. So the Elf is supposed to be watching and then reporting back to Santa who is naughty or nice, ok got it. (When did the alarm PIR sensors get bunked off btw?) Why the need for doing stuff during the night? And, weirdly it's mostly naughty stuff. Talk about setting an example. Basically another task for parents to remember to do. Most importantly, an Elf that comes alive during the night? Then creeps around? No thanks, stuff of nightmares that is.

So so scary

Christmas Eve Box
Tad like the toy advent calendar. Present giving is for Christmas day people!!! In a few years there'll be a Boxing Day Box. This is the one for when you forgot the present they really wanted and Santa pops back that night as he forgot it. Ooops silly Santa.

Gifts, gifts and more gifts

An Enchanted Elf Visit
Expensive and I think a little dangerous. On visits to Santa's grottos I have been lethally quizzed by my eldest to an inch of my life. Why there are three doors all with Santa behind? Why didn't he know what I'd put in my letter to him? I think minimal or no contact with anything impersonating Christmas untruths is the best path to take. Fingers crossed your 'enchanting elf' isn't hungover from the night before or looks anything like the below...

Yes I am an Elf!!!!

Now before you shout bah humbug and lob a load of sprouts at me. I realise that the motivation for all the above only comes from the most heart felt place. Seeing the look of delight and joy is undoubtedly a marvellous feeling. But, at what expense? (and I don't just mean your purse). In a world where the majority of us are only just keeping our head above water ensuring the day to day shit is in order. Add the 'normal' preparations of Christmas and then for good measure chuck in a boat load of extra to do's which actually, just aren't necessary. Remember no child wishes for a broke, stressed or unhappy Mum or Dad for Christmas.

Years gone by Christmas was simply, a lot simpler. The build up was subtle yet beyond exciting. Receiving a small chocolate from behind a cardboard door each morning. Keeping watch for the first Christmas tree to appear on the street. Gazing in awe at festive lights. Signs of what was to come and more than enough to keep excitement levels at an all time high.

Thinking back there a few presents that I recall being ecstatic over. But the memories that stick out the most are the moments of simply been with family and friends. The swapping of presents. My Gran's snowballs. Rubbish and extremely random 'shows' put on by me and my cousins. Sitting under the dining room table eating buffet food.

Mum & Dad x

Think back to when you where young. What memories stand out? That should give you an idea as to what's important and will be remembered by your children. So whether you've not got the money, time or inclination to indulge in these Christmas 'extras' don't worry, have yourself the best Christmas of all. A simple one.