A few years ago, I started to dread the approach of Christmas. I’d never considered myself a Grinch, so I wondered – what was getting in the way of my festive cheer?
Eventually, I worked out that my bad mood was all tied up in Christmas shopping. First, there was the enormous challenge of choosing what to buy for my family, made up almost entirely of adults over thirty. Anything they wanted, they’d already bought.
The weeks preceding Christmas were packed with phone calls to the partners of those we were buying for, desperately hoping they could provide inspiration for a gift. In most cases they couldn’t, and I’m sure my family suffered the same trying to buy for me.
O come, all ye fretful
Secondly, there was the expense. For me, buying for ten people put a big dent in my budget. And it seems I’m not the only one, as our latest research also found that more than half of people say Christmas is financially tougher this year than last.
So one day I did the unthinkable – I suggested that the adults of the family stop buying presents for one another. But my idea isn’t totally original, as our research also found that 17% of people are only buying presents for children and not for adults this year.
The reaction was overwhelmingly one of relief. The family agreed to buy for the children only, and to give mum a little something toward the magnificent feast she would cook up.
Last Christmas, I gave you… nothing
Although I’m yet to convince my partner’s family of the benefits, my family felt a huge weight lifted from our shoulders when we tried this approach last year. We were able to focus on spending some quality time together – eating, drinking and being merry.
Do you think I’m a Grinch for cutting out the Christmas presents? Or would be tempted to try something similar next Christmas?