Karolien – There's Life After Kids

#Mauritius - Doing The Expat Thing

26 days, 6 hours and 22 minutes….by Kay

26 days, 6 hours and 22 minutes…. You are probably thinking what’s this all about?

But this is how much time we have left until Christmas, yes it’s that time of the year again. Dreading it or looking forward,that’s my question?

Personally I dread it although one would think as a preschool teacher I would be looking forward to the upcoming festive season and the holidays accompanying it  and the truth is I am looking forward but also not.  I love the  thought of celebrating the birth of Christ but I have come to hate the absolute commercialism surrounding, infecting, soaking through the festive period. To me it has become a time to dread as end of term draws to a close and everybody is frantically trying to fit 48 hours into every already chock and block  filled 24 hour day.

One witness seemingly normal people suddenly becoming crazed human beings obsessed with Christmas shopping, holiday plans the one more elaborate than the other. People stock up on food, drinks, snacks, and every imaginable thing, as if the shops will run out whilst they are not paying attention. Not to mention the Christmas roast, turducken (at sky high prices due to the festive season may I mention), champagne for the New years eve party, and eating out at every opportunity. I struggle to understand the importance of shopping like there is no tomorrow, just for the sake of shopping.

In my opinion, Christmas gifts are totally overrated unless you are buying gifts for underprivileged children living in a home or something to that effect. Not to talk about the guilt of the heavy load added on the credit cards or overdraft for that matter. Why would one choose to punish oneself in such a way to start off the new year with a staggering amount of newly required debt that you will be paying off long after the last Christmas decorations have been delegated back to the bottom of the drawer until the next time?

Due to hubby working away and often not home for Christmas it has become quite the low key affair for myself and the brats. We have always tried to rope in some far-a way family and, at times, even friends over the festive season, but there have been times that we have been quite content to spend the holidays on our own. It wasn’t always the most festive of days being alone with two little ones but I hugely prefer it to spending a second more than absolutely needed in the shops with frenzied shoppers turning like sharks looking for prey.

I have over the years tried to rather economize Christmas and to try and keep buying gifts and unnecessary Christmas crap to a bare minimum, which to me being a ‘ Gemini’ by birth is not an easy concept as we like shopping and we like buying and giving gifts even more!!

Trying to teach the kids the same concept was a little bit more difficult but I would like to believe that we are almost there.  Instead of buying I try creating something from nothing and rather gift that to someone…also not saying I am making crap from crap…I am (well I would like to believe) quite adapt at creating something from nothing. One of my favorite sayings are, ‘one person’s junk is another person’s treasure’.

Not that the brats would stand for handmade gifts *sigh* so shopping for something for them is still on the cards but at least the wish list for Christmas has rather become more practical than frivolous…Frivolity we have decided will be saved for birthdays which are for more personal gifts and perhaps more extravagant.  In today’s economy ,that could perhaps be the way forward.

Think of the time and money you could save over the festive period. Unless your kids’ birthdays fall over the Christmas period, of course, and you are absolutely forced to brave the shops because you did not plan ahead….well in that case…your problem, not mine! 😉

This festive season, I will once again spend under the trees in my garden or on the beach sipping on something cold whilst you brave shops that resemble Black Friday three days ago…..Not my scene.  However, I am thinking maybe online shopping might be something to explore.  Will keep you updated!

In the meantime…the clock is ticking…. 🙂


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