It’s hard not to notice what Christmas can become for some people.
Standing in the checkout line waiting to pay for my shopping this week, I heard the lady in front of me say to her friend that all parents should spend at least three hundred pounds on each child at Christmas and she believed anything less was totally unacceptable.
I said nothing but stood wondering when Christmas gained such a price tag and how my ten year old wants a cuddly unicorn toy and a box of Jaffa cakes for Christmas!
Later that same day I saw a post on Facebook that was being shared about the cost of Christmas and what children were pretty much demanding rather than asking for.
No mention of the meaning of Christmas, the family event it can be, the wonderful joyous atmosphere, just money talk and a hefty price tag on Christmas Day happiness it seems.
We went on a Santa visit recently and sat in a room with lots of children around ages 6-10 who were writing lists for Santa. “I want…….” Seemed a popular phrase on a lot of letters with no manners included.
Long lists of computer consoles, designer clothes, mobile phones and various other pricey requests.
When did it become so easy to forget about those that have little or nothing and why are children seeing it as acceptable to demand what they want rather than ask/wish?
I’m not here to preach or complain at anyone, you spend what you choose to and you do Christmas your way.
It’s just sad that Christmas has become more about money than anything else these days.
It makes me wonder if parents feel under extreme pressure to buy expensive gifts, even if they can’t really afford them or whether the risk of financial strain is worth it for the ‘perfect present’.
To me it just feels so stressful to put that amount of pressure on yourself and you’ll end up not enjoying the festive season, instead worrying about money and expectations.
It’s not worth the pressure of getting in to debt for, for one day.
Is it not healthier and helpful to teach our children that they won’t necessarily get everything on their lists every time? That they are ‘wish lists’ not ‘I want lists’.
Remember it’s a time to enjoy with family and friends too. To reflect and be thankful. To spend time with those you love and create memories.
Remember there are people out there with little or nothing. Sleeping on the streets. Relying on food banks. No heating or electricity.
Christmas should never ever be solely about cost and there is no minimum or maximum you should spend on each person.
To put a price demand on present cost, as the lady in the queue did, is unacceptable and it’s moments like that which will force other parents in to guilt then debt so they can keep up with expectations.
Enjoy Christmas with family and friends and don’t put extra pressure and stress on yourselves financially and then spend the rest of the year playing catch up and paying things off.
Time with your loved ones is one of the most precious things you can give and receive at Christmas.