Ok there are some people who won't cope very well over Christmas and the title of my blog post is not aimed at them.
What I'm referring to are the endless blog posts appearing in my timeline, on face book and in linkys 'how to survive Christmas with kids' and 'top tips to get you through the season' and even worse 'how to explain to your kids why Santa didn't bring them the gifts they wanted'
I'm not opposed to anyone writing any of the above but I do get annoyed when people feel the need to talk about surviving something that doesn't actually need surviving, such as Christmas, especially when the post is titled 'Surviving Christmas with Kids' it's up there alongside 'sacrifices I've made for my children'
Christmas, if you choose to celebrate it is supposed to be a fun time, about family, decorating the tree, school plays, gifts. OK, I'm choosing to leave the religion part out here, that's a different post all together, one I won't be writing.
Christmas isn't about stress, or it's not supposed to be anyway. It's not about whose kid gets picked for the school play, it's about taking part. Blog posts shouldn't be about putting the parents down of the child who took the lead role or heaven forbid the child themselves, because yours didn't get picked. It's not about judging how your face book friend chooses to post pictures of their kids presents piling up under the tree and you writing a whole post on how people like that are selfish and should consider your childs' or more importantly your feelings because you can't afford to do that.
It's not about spending a small fortune on things you can't afford for fear of your child being bullied for not having the biggest, best, most expensive present and certainly isn't about getting into debt for, especially when you're still paying off the debt from the family holiday you've blogged about in a similar vain.
If you can't afford something, then you don't have have it. If it's out of stock and you can drive a 100 mile round trip to collect it, then do so, that's ok, but don't moan about those who do or don't because you choose not to or can't do or don't as I read on a recent mumsnet thread.
Without sounding too old (I'm 46) I don't remember returning to school in January with the topic of conversation being all about who had what for Christmas. I don't remember my kids getting in a strop because they didn't open the right gift on Christmas morning and I certainly don't remember there being a meltdown when one of the older ones informed their younger brother that Santa wasn't real, we just brushed over it and said 'if Santa isn't real then who puts the stockings at the bottom of the bed on Christmas Eve?' they knew I did it and if they visit over Christmas as adults I still do it.
We told our kids that the presents under the tree were from us and family and friends, how else could we explain the random timing and appearance of the gifts, with 5 kids I shopped early, had little storage space, so they were wrapped and plonked under the tree. We were fair with the number of gifts they had, if not the value, they were asked to make a list and Nintendo's and latest PS's were crossed off straight away as being too expensive.
However you choose to do Christmas is your choice and I hope you don't think from this post I'm telling you what you should or shouldn't do. My post is aimed at asking you to take a step back and think about what you write about how others choose to do their Christmas differently from yours and just consider for a moment that there intention might not be to show off, or be aimed at putting you down, just sharing how they do things, in their way, celebrating their successes and hard work and in no way making any one else feel like they need to 'survive Christmas with their kids'
After all it won't be long before like me, you'll be spending Christmas without the kids, they'll have left home, live in a different country, maybe have their own families. Spending Christmas without the kids as a blended family is something we've done on many occasions over the years, but we've still had an actual Christmas, just not on December 25th. Enjoy it while you can, don't worry about the number of gifts, the amount of food, whether Santa is real or not, let the kids discover that for themselves, just enjoy it and do it your way, whether that's with or without a Christmas Eve box or not. My kids remember Christmas, but they don't remember what gifts they had.