Last year I made no secret of the fact that we weren’t really doing the whole ‘baby’s first Christmas’ extravaganza. Sure, we did some cute costumes for baby groups, but we didn’t buy lots of gifts. In fact, we bought Jacob one gift—a Jumperoo̦, so quite a big, expensive gift—and we gave it to him on the day we bought it rather than waiting for Christmas. My reasoning for this was three-fold:
- Jacob was a 4-month-old baby. He wouldn’t remember it. He also wouldn’t know if he didn’t have any presents to open on Christmas morning.
- We didn’t have space for lots of gifts in our tiny house. Plus I knew he’d get lots of presents from other people.
- I was on maternity leave, so we couldn’t afford to spend lots on presents, and I had no interest in spending more money than we had and getting into debt.
We even sacrificed having a Christmas tree so we could fit the ginormous Jumperoo in the living room. I’ll admit I was slightly sad about that. Having no decorations did make me feel a bit unfestive, but we weren’t spending much time at home over Christmas so it seemed silly to get one. Plus, did I mention how big the Jumperoo was?!
Baby’s second Christmas
I thought that this year I’d feel differently, and go mad at Christmas. But actually, I feel sort of the same. I haven’t even started Christmas shopping. Eek.
Jacob will still be too young to remember Christmas this year. He’ll definitely pick up on the excited vibe, but he’ll enjoy it regardless of whether he has lots of presents. And he already has lots of toys; he’s definitely not hard done by. We will get him something, but probably only one big thing that he ‘needs’ (that sounds stupid, I know he doesn’t need anything!) rather than lots of small things. But he definitely won’t have stacks and stacks of presents from mummy and daddy to open on Christmas morning.
Jacob will still get lots from family so he won’t miss out completely. To be honest, I’d rather save the huge Christmas bills for a year when he’ll actually appreciate it. Maybe if money wasn’t an object I’d feel differently—although I suspect not! It all seems pretty wasteful.
More mum guilt
I still feel a little guilty about it all, even though I know it’s sensible. I especially feel it when I scroll through Instagram and see piles of presents stacked up under perfectly decorated Christmas trees. There’s definitely a lot of social media pressure, and I wonder how many other mums feel like me, but then get caught up in keeping up with everyone else.
We’ve moved house now and have more space (plus Jacob has outgrown the Jumperoo!) so we do have a pretty big Christmas tree this year. I’m not a total Scrooge!
Do you go Christmas-crazy or are you more bah humbug like me? 🙂