I wonder if anyone else approaches Christmas as I do which was the way my mum always did it. From now on when the weekly shop is underway the first time or two, extra cleaning and household items such as toilet rolls, all purpose cleaner, washing powder etc. were added to the list. All those un-glamorous things that we all need.This got all that stuff out of the way. Plus, one luxury item ( which,when I was a kid a large can of Peaches was considered a 'luxury') these 'Treats' were put into a large cardboard box in the cupboard under the stairs. No-One touched this box on fear of their life! Over the next few weeks more items were added until all our favorite delights were stored. We were told that father Christmas had already got our presents as Dads had a direct line to him and knew this , so no point in asking for more stuff as it was out of 'his hands'
Come Christmas, we found that we never went short on presents, treats, fun, or smashing dinners. My mum never started the new Year in debt. We grew up to understand that expensive presents don't have to happen at Christmas, when fuel bills for instance are coming in and warm clothing was more important, and that knowing how much we were loved was the most important feeling.
Our kids are now 40yrs old. They and their families are still coming back for Christmas most years when they can, this being one of them. Each is bringing something for the meal table, over the few days such as Gammon, Capon, or a big Rib of beef and we still buy a little something for each other going by the smallest pocket. Each year we set the budget depending on how everyone is doing re. mortgages, jobs etc. This has sometimes been 'the daftest thing you can find in the £1 store' present and do you know what................none of us ever start the new Year in debt and we know that love each other to bits ( may not always LIKE each other) but Hell, we are family