The conversations have started already in our family. What do the children want for Christmas? Every year it fills me with dread. We are lucky we have lots of generous aunties and cousins who buy lovely gifts for the children. It takes a bit of the pressure off, as we can't afford to spend a lot.
I give a list and most of the relatives buy something from that list. It means the children get something they actually want. The problem is some of them ask for the list then go and buy something completely inappropriate. We don't have a lot of space in our house, we really don't want a ball pool, a plastic car or a rocking horse. The thing is if you say it you sound really ungrateful. Last year it caused a huge argument because the oldest was given a play house. It was a beautiful toy but it wasn't what we had discussed. Also Father Christmas had bought that child a few books and jigsaws. Somehow the two presents didn't match up.
You see even saying it here makes me feel ungrateful. I was always taught to say thank you for gifts even if you secretly don't like them. I should be pleased to have my house filled with tat the children won't play with and will probably go in the charity bag in the New Year.
So this year I've made a stand. I have listed exactly what we do need for the children, some of it is practical things like a new school bag, and bedding. Anything plastic, disposable or noisy is off the list. The family aren't happy and there have been mumblings of scrooge, but I'm unrepentant. This is my Christmas wish and hopefully this year I'm going to get it.