Christmas time is always a time with mixed emotions for me but more now that I have a Bella. One because we don’t really do the whole tree decorating or Father Christmas thing anymore (religious reasons) but we do put out the nativity scene and sometimes we will do a small gift like something that we have made or under R50 per person!  Last year we did do a gift but Bella was too small to understand it and I wonder if she will “miss out” on all the memories I made as a child during the Christmas period. I didn’t care about the presents; my mom always taught us it’s about the thought that counts and not what you get. I cared about seeing my cousins and especially my cousin Pieter who is has always had a spot in my heart, a very special one! This year we are going to my mother’s family and to be honest, I really can’t wait as I haven’t spent a Christmas with them in a very long time!

My second thing is about the actual present giving itself. The thing is that there are so many people out there that can’t afford Christmas presents and every year this time I always remember at age 6 asking a girl at Sunday School what she got for Christmas and she told me pens, rubbers and books and I remember thinking “Wow, was she a naughty girl this year?” It bothered me so that I asked my mom and she explained that her family couldn’t afford to buy her presents and her school things for the following year so she got her school stationary for Christmas. Now that I have Bella, I can only imagine how those parents felt but I hope that they remembered that this time is about family and not about what they gave their child although I can only imagine how they must have hurt. There is so much pressure out there to buy this and buy that that I think a lot of people forget what it actually is about. If Bella gets a present, she will not be getting anything big for Christmas, we spend a little more on birthdays as Rick and I don’t do Valentine’s Day, Easter Eggs (we do hot cross buns) and other little holidays where you are expected to spend loads amounts of money on presents and cripple yourself financially! I always love going shopping after these events as you get things at really good sales as people try to clear out their stock for the next event. I am sorry but I am not going to put myself into debt that will take a while to clear when I could be spending money on something important like having a family day or putting the money away. This might seem wrong to you but this is how Rick and I both feel so I don’t feel alone in this.

So going forward (I like action plans) I am going to remind Bella as much as I can about the religious side of this holiday, to spend as much as I can in time with my family and to have a safe trip and journey when we do our 14 hour car ride to my family. Look after yourself and don’t put yourself in danger by drinking and driving and have a safe time with your family!

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