Christmas has always been my favourite holiday of the year. I love decorating the tree, baking treats with my mum, and being at home with family. Growing up I used to love the presents too. In fact, even last year – I wanted a million presents under the tree. I love lots of small parcels – it means you get to spend loads of time wrapping and unwrapping gifts. I used to look forward to what treats family and loved ones would buy me, and also, what I could buy them. I love getting thoughtful and sometimes sentimental gifts, as well as the occasional funny gift too. But this year has been a bit of a game changer for us. For one, we have learnt how to declutter our home and closets. Secondly, we have learnt how to live on one salary, which means our budget doesn’t really account for loads of present -giving this year. And lastly, we are trying to really get out of debt, we finally paid off both of our credit cards just a few weeks ago. So this year we are trying something a bit different… this year we won’t be buying any gifts. Not for each other, or for our family. We both know that we can’t really afford to buy gifts, especially when the best gift would be if we were completely debt-free. And we think our family and loved ones will understand, since we can’t be with them, and sending presents in the post always makes it that much more expensive.
This year we want to try create new Christmas traditions. We want to see how creative we can get with the festive season, and really focus on the things that matter most to us. Being with the ones we love, spending time with each other and enjoying the holidays together. That’s why I came up with some free things to do over December in Dublin.
We are going to try to be more present with each other. We are not perfect, not as individuals or as partners. We want to take some time this year to really be present with each other. Really listen to each other.
We want to laugh more, with each other and with our friends. This year will be the first year that we will be spending the holidays with our friends instead of our family. We have really great friends coming to visit us here in Ireland, they haven’t been here before so it means we get to show them a little bit of our town while they are here too.
We want to be kinder and more gentle with ourselves. We want to lower the expectations we put on ourselves to be all and do all over the holidays. We want to slow down and just live in the moment of enjoying our time together and with loved ones, and really give our hearts and minds time to process the year we have had and our hopes for the new year ahead.
We are going to stop comparing our journey with everyone else’s. Comparison is a strong game that we are all guilty of playing. This year we want to really focus on what we want for ourselves, and worry less if someone else’s way looks better. It is so easy to look on the outside and make presumptions about how other people live, but speaking from experience – what you see on social media is often not the full story, you have no idea what kind of troubles worry them at night to maintain such a life. We can’t choose only the good bits of life, we have to learn to manage the shitty bits too.
We may not be buying or giving gifts this year, but that doesn’t mean we are going to have any less of a Christmas. We are happy enough to sit on the couch, holding hands, watching the twinkly Christmas tree lights and listening to Christmas tunes. Christmas should be about being present, not just buying presents.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS TRADITION?
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