Four things I’m opting out of this Christmas

In seven weeks, Santa Claus is coming to town… Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Quite frankly, I’ve been naughty. I haven’t prepared at all for the financial onslaught that is Christmas. So, I’m opting out. Well, not completely, just opting for less.

The first thing I’m opting out of is shopping stress.

Year after year, I am one of those people at the shops the week before Christmas, frantically scouring the shelves for something that will work for that hard to buy for loved one who probably is not all that interested in Christmas presents anyway.

There will be none of that this year. I am hoping to avoid shopping centres altogether in December (even if I desperately need to be in the aircon). Christmas is a time to get together with family and enjoy each others’ company. How about a simple gift that reflects this – like a great bottle of wine or a spectacular (yet reasonably priced) jar of jam. I know that’s what I would love to receive, and I can also buy this type of gift from an Australian social enterprise store – businesses that exist to benefit the community.

For example, Good Spender is a site that allows you to interact with Australian social enterprises and support their mission by buying from them.

Alternatively, for one family gathering, we will be playing a game of “bad Santa” AKA white elephant gift swap instead of buying individual presents. This means we each bring along one small gift and then battle it out for our favourite on the day. Check out the rules of the game here.

Another thing to get the heave-ho this year is, you guessed it, overspending.

As a self-confessed overspender, this is going to be a tough one, especially as I find it pretty easy to justify almost any purchase… And I have another little munchkin to celebrate Christmas with this year!

My main way of avoiding overspending will be to talk with my husband and agree on a budget for the kids before buying anything at all. I have a few things in mind and I’m considering buying quality second-hand toys this year – something I haven’t done in previous years.

When it comes to buying gifts for other family members, I’m hoping the changes in point one will significantly help cut spending, and avoiding the shops is key.

Thirdly, I’m cutting back on Christmas clutter.

I love a Christmas tree as much as the next person (probably), but having decorations up all over the house and yard just doesn’t bring me that much joy. Especially when I have to clean it all up and store it for the next year. So, I think we will just stick to one small tree that we can enjoy decorating as a family.

Finally, I’m dialling down the overwhelm this year.

It’s a wonderful time of year to enjoy going out and getting together with family and friends, but I don’t want to feel overwhelmed.

I think this Christmas, I want plenty of down time. Simple, uncomplicated moments to appreciate the connections I share with my kids, my husband, my parents, my friends and extended family. I don’t want to be rushing around trying to fit everything in to meet my own unrealistic expectations. I just want to go with the flow.

But let’s see what happens…

What are you ditching this Christmas?