Skip to main content

Happy Festivus Georgie

What's so great about a mom and pop store? Let me tell you something, if my mom and pop ran a store, I wouldn't shop there. *

me, running away from a family party the minute someone suggests a game involving flour
I said I wasn't going to talk about it again, but here I am. I may not like Christmas, but everyone else I know does so gifts are a thing. We've had some success in negotiating smaller amounts of gift swapping between adults, but to remove gifts altogether was a no-no. 

The other thing that's changed is that I've started to manage expectations of myself. I, well we really as Dan was pretty much the same, used to tie ourselves up in knots trying to find wonderful, unique gifts for people. This year we said stop the madness, why were we stressing ourselves out looking for a stand out gift for someone who gives us a TK Maxx gift card every time (turns out the person with the least imaginative gift is the person most resistant to stopping gift giving, makes no sense to me at all). 

So we decided to fat dog it. So we did the majority of our shopping at the book shop, Tiger (shop selling cheap stuff, my MIL loves it) and the supermarket. Yes, we bought most of our gifts from Sainsbury's. Felt a bit weird, but there you go. If people don't like it, then it makes no change from any other year, but almost everyone needs books, pens and clothes don't they. Actually, do people still need pens? 


We ended up having a really good time, mainly due to finding this product


Who came up with this packaging**, other than a Seinfeld fan, and who gave the thumbs up to using it? It made my day, I bought some for Dan, they're wrapped and are tucked under the aluminium pole***. It did make us pause for thought and ask ourselves would people accept a card informing them we'd made a donation to The Human Fund, but decided against it. You can't just go round doing what George Costanza would do, appealing though the thought may be. 

I even wrapped it all, after finding about four shops worth of paper and gift bags under the spare bed.  Now all that's left for me as a non religious person is to attend carol concerts, eat nut roast, enjoy the M&S coconut and chocolate creamy Bailey's-style drink, and remember to write down how I feel today on my new calendar. 




* From "The Mom And Pop Store", Seinfeld season 6. Although also true if my parents did own a shop, I dread to think what they'd sell. 

** From "The Alternate Side", Seinfeld Season 3. 

*** From "The Strike", Seinfeld Season 9. 

Comments

  1. I buy very few Christmas gifts and never toys for the grandchildren. I am lucky that all my family and close friends love a quilt, the small children are very possessive of theirs. A pair of hand knitted socks and a hat are also high on the hoped for list. It is all spread out through the year so I don't notice the cost or feel any pressure. I will be on the look out for those pretzels, love them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds lovely.

      The pretzels were from Tiger.

      Delete
  2. Your post has given me a helpful sense of perspective..... I was just about to give in to the mid-December 'have we got everything?' panic. Jx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent!

      As my mum always says. if someone points out that something is "missing" at Christmas then it's their job to provide it the following year!

      Delete
  3. It's not about who gives the biggest fanciest gift is it, it goes back to the old saying "It's the thought that counts" which is so very true.
    The chocolate and coconut drink sounds rather nice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly, keeping it simple is far better for us.

      The drink is very nice, we had a glass at the weekend *yum*.

      Delete
  4. So true the things you say about gift giving. I've lost interest in finding things I think people might appreciate, after hearing them say that actually they don't. They're getting money this year. And from next year, I'll be doing much the same for even more people if I still need to buy presents for them. Who really needs anything anyway these days? I'd much rather do a CS Secret Santa with the family as it would probably give us all a laugh on Xmas day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're absolutely right, there is too much stuff in the world and no-one I know really needs anything more.

      For the past few years we've set a budget with MIL of £15 per person which has made things easier. My nephew is nearly 10 so I think there won't be many more years before he just gets a gift of money for Christmas and birthdays, I don't mind buying gifts for the little ones though, they need books!

      Delete
  5. I like Christmas, but on my terms which are very different to others. We enjoy a very pared back celebration and I found things got a lot easier once I just got on with doing my own thing without explanation or apology. This year all the gifts [not many] are being wrapped in a load of scarves I got from freecycle rather than wrapping paper. Arilx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right, that makes things so much easier. We used to spend the Christmas period in the car zipping up and down to visit people, but then we have really cut that back. Much as I would love a Christmas day at home it won't happen as we have to visit my MIL, she'd be on her own all day otherwise and I wouldn't be able to enjoy myself knowing she was alone (she won't come here, and she said last week that the only good bit of Christmas day is when we visit). But my parents are far more flexible, I don't think my FIL is impressed that we don't throw ourselves into celebrations but to be honest, I don't care about that.

      Love the idea of wrapping gifts in a scarf.

      Delete
  6. Slowly but surely reducing the Christmas shopping here as well. Gifts for immediate family are either handmade or a gift of some money so they can buy what they need, or use it for bills.

    God bless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like you're getting a good balance with your gift giving. Friends and my brothers were easy to talk to about not gift giving, we agree we'd rather just meet up and go for a coffee or to the pub instead, it can be hard to organise time together with the various work patterns we all have.

      Delete
  7. Well done on the gift buying! I have cut back this year and faced some resistance, but like you I found it stressful looking for the 'perfect' present. I'm glad I stood my ground as it has made a huge difference to my state of mind this year. X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can be hard to have the conversation can't it, some of the reactions we received were very surprising! Glad to hear you're buying gifts your way and feeling better about things this year.

      Delete
  8. My sister and I don't do presents at Christmas and we are both happy to.I did say to my Mother in law when she was asking about Stocking gifts, please don't buy me anything as we are moving house and I don't need anything but if she wanted to,there was a pair of earrings I quite liked! We've bought her a Saute pan for her Induction hob as her one isn't suitable for her new Induction and a garlic press!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's mainly the parents that I've had difficulty with. My mum just loves giving gifts at any time of the year, but she was happy to reduce the amount of gifts. Having a budget with MIL has worked well. FIL is the one who refuses to budge on the matter, but he is the one who still tries to have Christmas like they used to be when Dan was young, it's understandable but frustrating.

      Delete
  9. I'd prefer not to do gifts though!

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is the first year we have success and we are only to buy presents for the children under 21 and only for nieces and nephews not cousins kids. it is an absolute weight off my mind and my pocket. as my nieces and nephews are all ok with a gift card or my nephew who is saving cash in his account. We are having Jamie Olivers pistachio roast. It gets really good ratings I am looking forward to it.

    https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/uncategorised-recipes/best-ever-cranberry-pistachio-nut-roast/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The roast sounds absolutely delicious and not too much fuss to make, I've added it to my recipe binder, thanks.

      Glad to hear you've managed to slim down the gift giving, I think in future other people will be happy you suggested it.

      Delete

Post a Comment