So Christmas as a single parent, what does it mean to you? How do you spend the festive holiday? Do you look forward to It or do you dread it due to circumstances or financial worry? It is such a magical time for not only children but adults too yet through years of increasing commercialisation we seem to have lost the meaning of what Christmas is really about, which is the birth of Jesus.
It seems the focus is completely on decorations, food, drink, and an expensive list of presents! Whilst I am not disputing that I myself are amongst the people who think of Christmas in this way i still fear that we are to blame in the way this celebration period is changing and what views our children are starting to adopt.
With the increasing commercialisation of Christmas, single parents and parents in general are feeling the pressure and stress of fulfilling the "idea" of what Christmas is today, which is presents, presents and more presents! I was walking with Isla-Mae the other day and two boys were stood chatting, I could hear they were talking about what they wanted for Christmas, what upset me the most was the fact they were then comparing how many presents they each got and the value of each present! How upsetting that our children today see this as a competition and not only is this a bad view to have but this also places parents under pressure too.
I for one will not be stretching my budget to accommodate the commercialised Christmas that we have today! I will be gifting my friends and family with what my budget allows for. The gift in my eyes is about thought not price tag. Isla Mae gave me a leaf the other day and with it came the words "I love you mummy" to me this means more than any gift money could buy and if my budget buys this kind of response from my child then I am one happy mummy.
Single parents have a hard time through out the whole year struggling financially, feeling the stigma and trying to fit in. There is no shame in not being able to afford Christmas......love and company is all you need! I have come up with a few ideas for Christmas gifts on a budget that I hope will help some of you who are feeling the struggle this year and these are as follows:
- Pound, pound and more pound stores! You will be surprised what gifts can be found in the pound store.
- Charity shops/boot sales/selling groups online- are great sources for gifts, second hand is not to be knocked and you will be surprised at the quality of gifts that can be found today.
- Shop early- prepare for Christmas 2014 by grabbing reduced and sale items in January! Keeping a box of gifts in your wardrobe and topping it up gradually through the year, spreads the cost and eases the stress.
- Special offers- keep your eyes open in stores at the special offers
Remember Christmas is to be enjoyed not feared! If you are feeling stressed or are going to be spending Christmas alone and feel very lonely and lost then PLEASE message me as I would love to chat to you. Let's make this Christmas a magical one for our children.
Love to you all
Tara and Dream Bear xxx