Do families really need the added pressure of new traditions at Christmas time?

Christmas used to be a pretty simple time didn’t it? Presents were bought, turkeys were ordered, and then the big day happened. We went to sleep on Christmas Eve, woke up the next morning and had presents to open. That’s pretty much it right?

So when exactly did Christmas become so complicated? When did it become even more competitive than comparing what presents you got? And when – when did it become even more expensive than just the simplicity of paying for the presents? How have we come to having all this added pressure of new traditions at Christmas time?

There is already so much to do in the lead up to the big day. So much to remember. But as the years go on, there is so much more to do.


Elf On The Shelf has brought stress to families here and wide. I have to say that I do quite like the idea of it in principle, but the reality of it just feels like far too much effort to me! And I don’t get the whole elves being naughty thing. I spend most of my days trying to teach my children not to be naughty and then these little elves could come along and undo all of my hard work! What’s the point in that? I did see an idea for the kindness elves the other day, and I loved the idea of that. To make something good of every day rather than thinking up naughty things the elves can do (and probably making a mess of the house in the process).


Pressure Of New Traditions At Christmas Time?


And then we have the book advent. Oh. My. Goodness. Again, I won’t lie – I LOVE the idea of this. But the reality again is just bleugh. I mean we love books. But I have two children. If they both have their own book advent, that is 48 new books that I have to find a house for! And even if the books were on the 10 for £10 option at The Works, that still equates to almost £50 for the whole thing. As for having to sit and wrap 48 books…jeez! I know people mention about re-using books that you already have, but I am not sure that would pass against my Zach – or do they really forget that they already had them in the first place?


And finally, the real new big thing is Christmas Eve Boxes. WHAT? Yes they are gorgeous, yes they are a wonderful idea. But again, so expensive right? I mean they generally consist of a new pair of pj’s, a new movie, a new pair of slippers, a new book, and some other goodies like chocolate. It all adds up and it just feels like pre-Christmas presents – on top of everything that they are then getting the next day.


Pressure Of New Traditions At Christmas Time

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And with all of this – it feels like there is so much pressure on parents – especially if you have school aged children.

Am I feeling the jitters about not bothering with Elf on the Shelf? God yes!

Is Zach going to be coming home with stories of what his friends’ Elves have been up to? Will he be sad and feel left out – wondering why an elf hasn’t come to visit him?

And will he wonder why I haven’t gone to the trouble of buying him a whole new stash of books if any of his friends are having the same thing? I have always avoided the whole chocolate advent thing (and will for as long as I can), and have previously bought Playmobil and Wow Toys calendars for him. But is that enough? Will Joe Bloggs in his class make him feel like we don’t care enough about him to do this stuff?

And the Christmas Eve box. I think I have previously bought him new pj’s for Christmas Eve, but we normally just drag The Polar Express out to re-watch! I’m just not sure I can justify the extra expense for stuff on top of all of the Christmas presents that they will get. But will his friends have one? Will they be sharing stories of what was in theirs and will he again feel left out?


Pressure Of New Traditions At Christmas Time

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I can’t be the only one that thinks this way. That Christmas seems to have become about this massive, over the top build up. I can’t be the only one that thinks of the financial side of things. With the other half’s new job, we are in a much better place than we previously were financially, but it just feels like starting these things is the beginning of it having to happen every year – of having that added stress there year upon year, and potentially not being able to do it later on down the line if our financial circumstances change – and then feeling like an even bigger let down.

What do you think? Am I over thinking it? Is it not about the money or the added stress, and simply about making Christmas even more fun for our children? Are you bringing in the elves, wrapping the books and packing the box? I would love to know your thoughts. There is still time for me to be persuaded to get that dreadful elf – he’s so eerie looking though, I’m not sure I really want him in my house!


  1. November 30, 2018 / 4:50 am

    I don’t think you’re overthinking it at all – adding all these extra traditions can make Christmas more stressful and expensive. We have never done the elf or Christmas Eve boxes. The book advent is something I enjoy but it’s one set of books, most of which we already have (I may buy one or two new ones each year though). The girls used to alternate opening them. Our Christmas books are packed away in January and only come out again as they get unwrapped (the ones that don’t go in the book advent just get put on the shelf for December). The girls enjoyed finding out which story they would have that day – it didn’t matter that they recognised the book or if we always had the same one on Christmas Eve.

  2. November 30, 2018 / 8:06 am

    To be honest, yes I think you are over thinking it. You can choose to do or not to do any Christmas tradition. We have lots of Christmas traditions but none are the ones you refer to here. I would just stick to what makes you happy and not worry about what other people may or may not be doing.

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