Actually, so far the holiday preparations are fairly stress free, hope it stays that way. It hasn’t always been like that though.
In the beginning of our marriage we used to really try to do to much. We bought too many presents. We put the needs of each of our families in front of our own, especially in regards to time. No matter what we did there was always someone not satisfied. Sometimes that person was me.
My husband comes from a bigger family than I do so shopping used to take a lot of time. I always thought that he and I put a lot of thought and consideration into our gifts but didn’t always feel it was the other way around, especially with one of his sisters. One time she just left the gift in a Walmart bag and couldn’t be bothered to wrap it…when she had wrapped everyone else’s presents. While it may have been in a Walmart bag, I’m fairly certain it was regifted. Then his mom would insist on buying me clothes, and that never seemed to work out well either. I’m not sure why if you say you would prefer not to receive clothing that can’t be respected. One time she brought me an old lady sweatshirt when I was newly married…she would have never bought something like that for anyone of the other women in the family. I know I sound incredibly petty and immature with these thoughts…if that is what you are thinking. I was so glad later on when it was decided by others in his family that we would simplify and reduce the gift giving obligations.
With my side of the family there was always a lot of walking on eggshells, and there still is. My sister has forgotten numerous birthdays and holidays probably due to her alcoholic haze. She has also failed to acknowledge many gifts that I sent to her. But if she feels the way in which I or someone else in my family acknowledges a gift isn’t spectacular enough…there will be trouble. Honestly I think it would be simpler just to forget about gift giving but she doesn’t feel the same way. And with my side of the family there is always the chance that some sort of fight will start…who wants to expose their kids to that.
I sent the bare minimum of Christmas cards this year….they seem like they are a waning tradition. We seem to get less every year.
I’ve bought a lot of gifts online this year. I’ve done some mall shopping this year but crowds of rude people can stress me out. I know we should buy local. This year though I figured time saved by shopping online was a gift to me and my family.
I’m glad at this point that my husband and I spend most of our energy on creating a Christmas experience for each other and the kids. It makes for a lot less anxiety.
In case you think I am totally petty we usually buy some Toys for Tots, or make donations to worthy causes at this time of year. There seems to be more joy in giving because you genuinely want to, rather than feeling you have to.