My guide to surviving Christmas the fun way!

Christmas is approaching again and if you are anything like me you will be frantically putting together Christmas lists; who wants what, how much will it cost, when have I got time to put the tree up, when do I need to post my cards by, the list goes on.

Traditionally I have refused to start getting into ‘Christmas mode’ until 1st December but with the bombardment of flashy adverts and gift buying guides all over the TV, the second Halloween is over, I can honestly say that my 1st December is now slipping into early November!

While I love Christmas, it’s the one time of year that is truly about family, I don’t like hearing about how people think they “need” a bunch of new and expensive things to be happy. I hate that the price of gifts depicts whether they are ‘worthwhile gifts’ or not.

Truth be told, unless we’re investing in our personal growth and taking action, most of the money we spend on things doesn’t make us any happier or better off in the long run. We simply don’t need more fancy items in our closets collecting dust to find joy and contentment. In fact, we can find most of what we’re looking for by paying closer attention to the gifts we already have in front of us – the simple, perfect moments that make us smile…

I turned 40 recently and decided that I was going to have memories and experiences instead of the usual flashy and expensive gifts you expect when a birthday ends with a 0! I went to see a comedian with my husband, I went for afternoon tea with all my friends, I went for a meal and then bowling with my family (the kids arranged that which made it even more special) and have an indoor sky dive booked for January. Ok, I might not have lovely gifts to look back at in years to come, but what I do have is some amazing memories that will stay with me forever involving the people that matter most to me. In my opinion those are more precious than any watch or bracelet.

I enjoyed my birthday so much that I have adopted this line of thinking for Christmas. I am not saying that the children won’t have gifts, of course they will, what I am saying is that instead of lots of expensive gifts (you have an I phone 6, why do you need a 6 plus!) I will be spending the bulk of my money on creating experiences and memories. We will be spending Christmas eve at the cinema followed by hot chocolate and marsh mallows, we will be spending Christmas and boxing day with family and friends playing games, going for walks and enjoying each other’s company (sitting in bedrooms on phones is banned this year, even if only for two days!) We will be going for days out over Christmas week and spending New Year’s Eve at a friend’s house, where we will prepare food together and bring in the new year playing games.

Christmas is a time of giving, but think about what an amazing gift memories and experiences are. Working on yourself and creating memories that you can call on any time of the year in my opinion is the best gift you can give.

Happy holidays everyone! M