Presence Over Presents

Christmas should never be about what gifts you get. It should be about that feeling you get as soon as you hear that festive tune or smell that Christmas scented Yankee Candle. Its that one time of the year that people truly make an effort to spend time together as a family. Its so rare now that we sit down and enjoy one another’s company as life always gets in the way.

I can’t remember a time when my whole family were in the same room. It’s probably a good job as they’d be fighting like cats and dogs. But, I would take being sat with my newly formed little family, eating copious sprouts and farting them out later over not getting gifts in a heartbeat.

Ernest is thankfully at that age where he doesn’t fully understand what’s going on around him. He won’t know how many presents I’ve got him. He certainly won’t remember in years to come either. I took the decision very early on that I wouldn’t be buying him mountains of presents or taking a leaf out that women from the Isle of Man’s Christmas book! I do tend to go into shops and buy mainly for Ernest, however I have never spoilt him. That kid requires clothes on the reg due to his giantitis but he has enough toys to keep him occupied without going overboard.

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I appreciate that others want to buy their little ones everything under the sun, especially on a first Christmas. It’s totally understandable, but for me personally I’m going low key. Im probably one of the odd ones out and there really is no bah humbug here.

One difference this year is for the first time i will be celebrating Christmas as a mother. I still can’t quite believe it. I know as each year passes it will only get better and better too and that in itself is always going to make me warm and fuzzy. Although Timmy won’t be here to join us, its still going to be a special time regardless, because we have Ernest now. Christmas is no longer about us, its about him. Timmy has always absolutely spoilt me for Christmas. I think it tends to be a combination of not knowing what to get me so he goes way over the top and because to him he wants to put a smile on my face no matter what the cost.

I on the other hand am always counting my pennies. Although we are a married couple our finances are very much separate.

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I’m not the best person at keeping a check of that side of things and I have in the past wracked up debts. I still have a little blow out here and there but good ol MasterCard doesn’t get used as much as it used to. Obviously I’m aware present giving isn’t a competition but i would feel like my gifting would be very insignificant so I would massively over stretch myself.

I would also feel like I needed to spend lots of money on him to make up for the fact he’s rarely home for Christmas.  I found that i would still be paying off Christmas months down the line and actually I know over anything he would much rather be with his family.

We spend one in three Christmases together and I’m already thinking about the fact he’ll be missing next year too. So like always we’ll make it work for us in our usual unconventional way. Ernest will never know any different and if anything he will benefit from Christmas day being celebrated more than once. I’m going to get Ernest a few little essentials that he needs and that’s it. I reckon if I put some empty boxes in front of him, he’ll be chuffed to bits! So will the cat once he’s finished with it.

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That’s why for me, presence far outweighs presents. We all love receiving gifts, who doesn’t? But being surrounded by loved ones is what its all about. My former selfish self would have preferred presents in the past because I never really looked at Christmas in the way I should have been. There are so many people out there who aren’t even fortunate to have a loving family and full tummy on Christmas, that I should be grateful for what I have right in front of me.

We might be spending Christmas for the most part on our own but i’m going to make sure that Ernest gets as much love as he usually gets and more with an extra added squeeze for daddy.

We’re going to wake up early like we always do, eat a special breakfast, open a couple of presents and then weather permitted we’ll take a nice long walk along the seafront. It’s definitely one of those days where you could walk outside and for once its utter silence. I always used to love that part when driving between the parents. So me and my little man are gonna take in the calm before we head over to Santa’s Grotto a.k.a the In laws and actually that sounds pretty damn perfect to me.

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We all have our idea of the perfect Christmas and this year I choose presence, oh and as much food as i can possibly fit in.

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