How we feel about ourselves is reflected in how our children see us and others in our family. In the past week life has been hectic – trying to work to earn a bit of money for Christmas and having to reduce my outgoings by sorting through old stuff to sell or just make space. It leaves me with a house full of boxes, a bank balance with very little in it and not a decoration in sight.
My girlfriend is understanding, my children have seen me this week as I have taken them to my Mothers for a few days, so things are good…… or are they? I worry that when I turn up on Christmas day with a handful of presents it will be a disappointment.
Every year I have overspent on Christmas, like many parents, thinking…”It would look much better if I get another few bits.” But this year I just can’t afford to and so that’s the dilemma and it’s at the forefront of my mind. I have presents from both my parents (who have got lots of bits for my boys) and they will have those on Boxing Day when they come to me and when we go and see my Dad over the period, but to me it’s not the same as on Christmas Day.
I will see them on Christmas day so do I take a few little presents or their main presents, which aren’t much this year but are things they have asked for? I will spend an hour on Christmas day with my boys and cherish every minute of it. I do worry what my boys will think as they leave for the gathering of their Mums family. What If the presents from me don’t compare to the large Lego set or similar they get from elsewhere?
Like every parent I know some presents will last for a few hours – others may not get used until June, regardless I also know my boys will smile and say thank you and appreciate that I can’t compete with their Mum. Part of the issue is that many children expect so much and see Christmas as a time of receiving. I have always viewed it as a time of giving, and not having money to buy lots to give has meant I have to be more creative while being frugal. I do think at Christmas a child remembers the volume of wrapped boxes for a long time. I believe, for parents, it is the memory of the smile on a child’s face, at Christmas, which we recall. I hope I have similar memories this year.
In essence I love Christmas, but I don’t think we need the decorations to create a festive household.
I will try and clear a space for a small tree to decorate on Christmas Eve and put some presents under, because then it will feel like Christmas.
I suppose I can get excited now as there are only two more sleeps till Christmas!
Have a Happy Christmas.