Saturday, December 26, 2015

How we UN-commercialised Christmas in our family

In our family, we decided to stop buying and giving out presents amongst us adults. It has been the BEST decision we ever made.
We would only buy for my son, who, at this point, is the only child in our whole extended family that is here (he has two cousins, but they are overseas). Because, really, Christmas is about being together as a family, not about presents. It's the only time of the year when we all get together - otherwise, we might see each other sporadically, but not all in a big group. So we now focus on that. But of course, you can't deny the joy of a child when he/she unwraps a gift at Christmas time, so we definitely say "presents for children"!
It has been such a relief in the two years we have done this. No rushing around like mad things in the malls buying gifts that you desperately hope the other person will like. What a blessing! It has cut the stress of Christmas in half, if not more. (Yes, I do find Christmas to be stressful.)
I do know that sometimes it's nice, even as an adult, to get a present. It's lovely to find something with your name on it, all nicely wrapped, and wonder what it is, and then have the joy of opening it. But the sad reality is that most gifts are not what you really want. Some are nice, some are ok, but most of them are a bit of a waste. I can't tell you how many soaps and body lotions I have received in the past, and whilst I do like them, I really do, they are not exciting by any means, and I am at the age now where I am choosy about brands so I end up with cupboards full of soaps and lotions that I don't use.
I am so glad that now, we don't waste our money any more. Which means that we can buy ourselves or our partners the one thing we really want, rather. And then on Christmas day, like we yesterday, we just enjoyed the food and each other's company. That is really what Christmas is about for us!



  1. (Slightly belated) Merry Christmas Louise! A few years ago we also decided to pretty much stop buying for the adults in our family. Instead, each adult family member is now assigned one adult to buy for and we set the price limit at R150. That way everybody has a present to open but the cost is limited to R150 per person and each person only has a single present to buy. Christmas is SO much easier and less stressful now. I've realised how all that present buying and stressing over what to buy for all these people (who actually don't need anything!) got in the way of the fun and enjoyment of the Christmas season!

    1. Hi Gill! Thanks for the Christmas wishes, and wishing you even more. I wish you lots of blessings for the year ahead. Yes, I think limiting the overspending and rushing around the malls is a great idea!


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