For us the financial strain of having another baby during this recession has proved to be a lot more tricky than we anticipated. Despite my obsession with logging every single incoming and outgoing penny on a spreadsheet, and planning six months ahead at all times, we are still struggling.
I’ve been consumed with guilt that I cannot give the children as much as I would’ve liked and that this year the rest of our family and friends won’t be receiving gifts from us. Especially since others have been so overwhelmingly generous to us in the past weeks.
In a way this situation has been a blessing in disguise. We have had no choice but to focus less on the material aspects of Christmas and more on our family. It has helped rekindle some of the magic of Christmas that perhaps in recent years has been sadly lacking.
It’s a Christmas of firsts.
Little E’s first Christmas, special even though she will not have any understanding of it. Big E’s first year of really being aware of Santa and the anticipation of Christmas Day. His first nativity, which made me so proud and the first time he brought home wonderful decorations, handmade at nursery, that will be treasured for years to come.
The way Little E beams with delight when she sees the Christmas tree lights or Big E’s utter wonderment at his special video message from Santa make me feel like a child again. These are their gifts to us. Their reactions are infectious and make me remember Christmas should be about magic and meaning and family.
So, while I feel guilty that I won’t be giving gifts to my family and friends, and anger and annoyance at the financial hole in which we find ourselves, this year I feel a renewed sense of enthusiasm for the festive season and the family and childhood associations that mean so much more.
Has the recession had any effect on your Christmas this year?