Christmas is freaking me out!

I’m delighted to report that I’ve finally made great inroads into my Christmas shopping for this year. Isn’t Amazon wonderful- I used to get totally frazzled wandering around Belfast’s city centre every year, running the gauntlet of people trying to sign you up for monthly contributions to various charities, and believe me, they are there to do their job (!!), trying to struggle through the crowds, not being able to find the stuff I went in for, and then not being able to remember what floor of the multi storey I parked the bloody car on…stress!!

So, being able to do it all on the computer is brilliant in my eyes. πŸ™‚

I just have the kids to buy for now. When I hear my friends discussing the stuff they’ve bought for their children though, it makes me feel woefully inadequate because I can’t begin to justify the amount of expenditure that they seem able to cope with for kid’s presents.

Our house is STUFFED with toys. Seriously, most nights I get home and want to take a shovel to it! πŸ˜€

You’ll laugh at me for this, but I know Ricky would love a digital camera, and I looked into it today. The children’s toughened cameras from V-tech and Fisher Price got terrible reviews, so in the end, I bought him a second hand 5mp small digital camera which should be easy for him to hold. It cost Β£20 (about $50) which is about half what the aforementioned kid’s ones were, and hopefully will do the job. Plus at that price, if he kills it, I won’t get too upset.

I personally feel that Christmas has got taken over by materialism. I don’t want my kids to grow up obsessed with who has had the most money spent on them, which labels they have, and how many “things” they’re going to get. Maybe it’s inevitable. I also don’t want them growing up feeling deprived because Ian and I don’t want to bankrupt ourselves over Christmas!

Hmmm…a fine line. I also suspect that the line will become finer with every passing year as the kids get older!

13 Responses to “Christmas is freaking me out!”

  1. November 13, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    I agree! We get each of the kids a big Santa present (usually $100) and then just a few smaller things. Usually board games and books. That is it. They get a ton from everyone else and don’t even realize who it’s all from. I would say we spend about $150 per kid. BUt, I’m also a stickler that doesn’t really buy them anything unless it’s a holiday or birthday. I don’t just buy them stuff if I see it in the store. It has to be for an occassion.

    I think our philosophies are pretty similar here, Lori (now there’s a surprise… πŸ˜€ ). I intensely dislike when Ricky starts “I want”-ing…he doesn’t get stuff just because he demands!

  2. November 13, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    The majority of our shopping was down on Amazon too. I feel so lazy, but quite honestly- I am pleased with the idea of after a few clicks, someone brings it to my door. I mean- if I could get my dog to fetch me some soda, life would be near perfect. πŸ˜€

    My cat is so idle, HE practically gets brought soda on the sofa….I don’t feel lazy to be honest- just relieved!!

  3. November 13, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    i actually believe it does a disservice to children to get a huge load at Christmas. I have been pretty broke all my life and as a kid we sometimes had Christmases where we got a new pair of jeans and shoes or a coat or something extremely practical. I have three kids and they all know there won’t be much this year; i will probably spend about $150 total. I will be getting the clue board game from Harry Potter-that looks like so much fun.

    I LOVE Harry Potter- as does my son Ricky- good tip! πŸ™‚ These days, I prefer practical stuff. I don’t think it should be about what they get- more about how they get it, if that makes any sense. Love is the most important thing, right? I checked out your blog, BTW- good luck with it- I find blogging very therapeutic and hope you will too. xx Thanks for stopping by!

  4. November 13, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    You’re ahead of us. We haven’t even started! πŸ™‚ Probably won’t even start till after Thanksgiving either. I have no energy to shop this year and we’re only shopping for Bryce and not for anyone else so I’m hoping it’ll be a nice, quick, run in and out kind of thing. *fingers crossed*

    We too feel Christmas is too much on materialism so you’re not alone there. πŸ™‚

    We’ve also tried to come to agreements about Christmas presents this year. Ian and I aren’t getting each other anything. There’s nothing we really, really need- and we’re broke so there’s no point in spending money just because! πŸ˜€

  5. November 13, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    I’ve not yet begun my shopping. Any of it… *eek* And so, I applaud you for your accomplishments!

    We, too, don’t buy much for the kids for Christmas. the grandparents get them lots of “stuff” so we mainly concentrate on stocking stuffers and one big gift for each child.

    And if you think that YOU have to shovel toys, you should come to my house. And this is after we’ve given over half of the stuff away!

    Amazon is the way to go- totally takes the pain away, lol! I’m sure your house is WAY tidier than mine. :-/

  6. November 13, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    Our son’s birthday is so near Christmas that he ends up having a super orgy of presents that time of year. Seriously, one year we actually told each other that it was messing up the whole experience for him. So now we’ve backed it off a little bit (and more importantly, made the grandparents back off!).

    Ian’s birthday is 18th December, and Ricky’s is 17th January, so they are both pretty close too. It does suck a bit for them…especially Ian although he’s old enough not to care so much now!

  7. November 13, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    Christmas…no talk of Christmas in November…it is forbidden!

    I know, I know…it’s having small children- it kind of brings the excitement back for some reason… πŸ˜€

  8. 8 Sarah McBride
    November 13, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    I agree. I have had to steer the grannies away from sooo much stuff for Zoe this year – she’ll only be 1, and won’t have a clue. In fact I think she might be a bit scared by the whole thing.

    When we were small, we only ever got a couple of pressies from our parents, plus a few little stocking gifts. I hear what some of the girls in work have bought their kids (so far!!), and I’m disgusted….

    Robbie is still really at the age where he won’t care. Ricky is definitely wanting certain things this year though! πŸ™‚ Enjoy it while Zoe is too young to care!

  9. November 14, 2008 at 12:15 am

    I am with you on this Suzy. MY wish list is exactly that a wish list. some folks have the same size list of things they are actually getting. WOW! I actually get a bit apalled by the over expenditure.

    I find that time of year overwhelming with christmas and her birthday. ugh…..too much stuff.

    Great post!

    That’s the problem with a January baby- too much stuff already from Christmas!

  10. November 14, 2008 at 12:43 am

    Park on the very top floor or the roof. You can’t lose your car on the roof. It alleviates much stress. I learned this when I lived in Vegas and I still practice this whenever possible. It’s so nice to head to the elevator or stairs and know exactly where my stupid ass parked her car. πŸ™‚

    That’s a good tip! I will remember that one!

  11. November 14, 2008 at 5:44 am

    I want to marry Amazon.com. Seriously.

    And, the last thing I remember about Christmases growing up was the presents – it was enjoying being with family. I hope we can pass on those same non-materialistic memories to our kids.

    That’s how I remember my childhood Christmases too. I hope we can persuade our kids to feel the same way!

  12. 12 welshpurpletree
    November 14, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    My mother-in-law has bought Danny the VTech camera, it had better reviews than the Fisherprice one. We’ll see how he gets on with it. Everybody’s asking my what the kids want for Christmas, and I am clueless, I don’t want any more toys cluttering up the house – they don’t play with the one’s they’ve got! I’ve even said to my Aunty to get them charity gifts like Oxfam Unwrapped. The kids won’t care as long as they have a couple of pressies to open.

    I hope the camera works out well! I’m trying to keep things to a minimum too!

  13. 13 Skry
    November 19, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    I have so much to say about this post! For starters I worked for Amazon and TBH the company is great. Did you know the guy started operating out of his garage in 1997 and by 2003 was shipping from loads of depot’s all around America and beyond? Jeff Bezos (sp?) is his name.

    Also I agree that Christmas is commercailised. When Phil and I were young we got so many presents one year that, while tearing our way through the wrapping paper one of us broke a present opening it. My dad was SO annoyed because we apparently just discarded the present assuming it was damaged goods and no longer useful and went onto opening others. I can totally see his point…

    As for XMas itself, living in NZ away from our regular friends means we’ll be having a BBQ and not buying much at all. I’ll probably buy 3 presents this year at the very most. Sweeeeet! πŸ˜›

    I remember your amusing stories when you were working for Amazon- including the woman who was complaining that her tuna sandwich “tasted of fish”, and the guy who wanted to know if Amazon could tell him what the recipe for dip was that included liquid smoke…from the food processor booklet he’d got ten years before… πŸ˜€

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