So firstly, we LOVE Christmas here – this isn’t a Grinchy post. We love gifts and unwrapping and fun and surprises and wish lists.
Over the years I have found, made, given and received some totally awesome and amazing things. One year I did a pregnancy test on Christmas morning, and put the positive test in Mr Frugals stocking – no better gift than that… except a different year when we brought our new and last baby home on the 22nd!
So why no presents this year?
Well… we save each month, so we know the budget that we have to spend on some extra food treats and presents between the six of us. This year I looked at the amount and felt a bit sad. So much money that we had worked so hard to save and pretty much it would be spent on ‘stuff’ – things we didn’t really NEED. It seemed such a waste.
We work hard to include the children in family decisions, so I sat them all down and said this is the money we have, we can buy each other presents as usual, or we could so something else. What do you think?
Our kids are pretty fantastic, they asked if they would still get presents from their grandparents and a few other families we swap with. Of course they would, and bits from school parties and similar. As well as their stockings from Father Christmas!
They felt that was plenty, and agreed that they already had so much – literally bursting out of their bedrooms.
What would they choose instead?
Of course there were lots of things we could do with the money and Mr Frugal and I came up with some very ‘boring’ ideas. We came down to buying a Merlin Pass for the year, or a week away. As we already arrange lots of days out with our National Trust membership the kids chose a holiday. We managed to book a cottage for a week before they go back to school, and only two days annual leave needed!
So – we are having a wonderful Christmas, and then can’t wait for our week away having new adventures and chilling out. Children really don’t need £££’s they need buckets of love and fun experiences. I hope they will always remember this holiday in a way they can’t always remember what they got for Christmas.
I have no idea what we will do next year as this is a new departure for us. Now I think about it we’ve never had two Christmas’ Day’s the same since we got together 25 years ago. That’s really how it should be, a flexible and fantastic event – changing as a family changes, what’s important is being open and honest about what would make it special for you, your needs and wants and for people to listen to each other. We love our traditions, but we also love making new ones x
Wishing you and your family the Merriest Christmas – how do you celebrate?